Rangers’ Europa League campaign continues on Thursday as they take on Slavia Prague away from home, and Steven Gerrard should consider unleashing striker Cedric Itten for the game.
The 24-year-old striker has been limited in his game time this season but has impressed at times; having contributed four goals and one assist in 23 Scottish Premiership appearances, of which 19 have come from the bench.
He has also done well in his rare appearances in the Europa League this season, with two goals to his name in just three appearances, as he starred in the 2-0 win against Lech Poznan, before adding a late goal as a substitute in the 5-2 win against Royal Antwerp recently.
Whilst Gerrard will surely be tempted to keep faith in Alfredo Morelos because of his excellent recent form, he has also played a lot of football recently and perhaps deserves a rest ahead of the game against Celtic at the weekend.
Itten has found himself on the fringes of Gerrard’s squad since joining from FC St. Gallen last summer, with the likes of Morelos, Kemar Roofe and Jermaine Defoe all competing for the striker role in Gerrard’s squad.
However, with Defoe looking likely to depart in the summer, it seems likely that Itten may get more opportunities next season, so Gerrard should start putting his faith in the Swiss international, as his return of six goals and three assists in 30 appearances is fairly impressive when you consider how many of those appearances have come from the bench.
The striker’s work rate could be vital against Slavia, especially in the away tie, and Gerrard is clearly a fan of his efforts, as he praised him against Motherwell earlier in the season, saying:
“Ceddy does what he does. He’s a bit of a pest, he’s a bit of a nuisance, he chases lost causes.”
Therefore, with Roofe out injured, and Morelos perhaps in need of a rest, Gerrard should definitely consider unleashing Itten against Slavia Prague on Thursday, as he deserves a chance to show what he can do from the start, and he could prove to be a game-changer against the Czech side with his immense work rate.