Rangers are reportedly eyeing up a move to bring one young talent to Ibrox during the upcoming summer transfer window…
According to Wales Online, the Gers are among the clubs who are plotting a swoop to land 16-year-old winger Japhet Matondo ahead of the 2022/23 campaign as Ross Wilson looks to make moves in the market.
The report claims that the Glasgow giants, along with Leeds United and Premiership arch-rivals Celtic, are monitoring the teenager’s progress as they consider attempts to snap him up from English Championship outfit Cardiff.
It is stated that the player is going to wait until his current club offers him a new contract before deciding whether or not he wants to ditch Wales for Scotland.
The Rangers head coach will be buzzing with this news for multiple reasons.
Firstly, it shows that the club are working hard to identify players who can improve the development teams. Instead of focusing solely on first-team arrivals and leaving the Glasgow catchment area to bring in youth players, Wilson is trying to snap up prospects from elsewhere.
This could save Rangers millions in the future, as any young player who can make the breakthrough at senior level will prevent the club from needing to make a signing in that position. For example, Alex Lowry’s emergence in the first-team could mean that Wilson does not need to go out and spend money on a transfer fee and wages for another central midfielder.
Journalist Mark Hendry dubbed Matondo a “teen talent” and he has been called up by Wales at under-16 and under-17 level in recent years, with the Wales Online article also claiming that he is ‘highly rated’ at Cardiff.
If he can reach a similar to his brother Rabbi, who has won nine caps for Wales, then he will be a useful player for Rangers to have in the future. Japhet’s 21-year-old sibling has scored nine goals in 23 starts for Cercle Brugge in the Belgian Pro League this term and, from his time at Schalke 04, has also played 30 Bundesliga games by the age of 21.
Japhet may now follow in his brother’s footsteps by leaving Cardiff to try his luck elsewhere in a bid to make it at first-team level. The 16-year-old has clearly caught the eye of the Glasgow giants with his performances at youth level, and his current club rate him highly, which suggests that there is potential there for Rangers to mould if they can land him.
This is why Van Bronckhorst will be buzzing with the Light Blues’ interest in Matondo and will be hoping that he is in a position to offer the youngster first-team chances at Ibrox in the years to come.