Rangers fans have been excited about the prospect of Jose Cifuentes joining the club since May 18th when transfer guru Fabrizio Romano tweeted (tagging The 4th Official as source) that the club were close to completing his signature. He said ‘talks are progressing to a crucial stage’ and it appears everything is agreed from the players side, Rangers just need to strike an agreement with LAFC.
The latest update on the deal came when The 4th Official updated on Patreon that the deal with the player is essentially done with a bid made to LAFC.
After around of month of no updates, this one seems really positive! Cifuentes is a 24-year-old Ecuadorian international midfielder who has been previously linked to the likes of Brighton. That’s part of the reason Rangers fans are so excited by this one. Another reason is that he can do everything as a number 8. He’s quick, combative and provides quality when he’s on the ball. With his contract up in December, Rangers will undoubtedly get him for a cut price. This could prove to be a bargain as he is a player with an incredibly high ceiling.
Here are Jose Cifuentes’ numbers for the current MLS season;
- 14 Appearances (9 Starts)
- 0G/2A (+ 1 Penalty Won)
- 1.6 Key Passes Per Game
- 1.5 Tackles Per Game
- 1 Possession Won Per Game
- 58% Dribble Success (1.3 Per Game)
- 43% Total Duels Won (4.3 Per Game)
Not his most productive season so far for goal contributions. In the last MLS season, in 36 appearances he scored 7 and got 6 assists, so he’s definitely capable of chipping in there.
He’s a complete all round midfielder, capable of doing it all, as shown by his stats. His biggest strengths are probably his creativity and pressing ability. In the current season, he averages 1.5 shots per game, so he isn’t afraid to have a go which has been the criticism of many of the Rangers team recently. Hopefully, if he ends up at Ibrox, the goals start coming for him the same way they did for Todd Cantwell.
As previously mentioned, one of his biggest strengths is his ability to press opponents. The tenacious midfielder presses with seemingly boundless energy. It’s this part of his game which makes him stand out and has impressed me when I’ve watched him recently for LAFC. He doesn’t give opposition players a second to breathe and that fits right into Michael Beale’s system. His tenacity and defensive work would allow his partners in the midfield to be able to get forward also without fear of leaving the team short at the back.
That being said, he loves to get forward to try and get a shot away. His link up play with forwards is excellent, he’s always there to either bounce the ball off of or play the one-two to break beyond the defence. A player so confident that he always wants the ball is something Rangers lacked in the midfield until the additions of Cantwell and Raskin and I believe Cifuentes would fit perfectly with them.
To see his creative side you only have to look back to his performance against Atlanta in the MLS recently. In that match, he created 5 chances and another one considered a ‘big chance’, he also had 10 passes into the final third but unfortunately his team mates didn’t allow him to get an assist in the 0-0 draw.
Again, this performance was also another indicator of his excellent defensive work, his defensive numbers that night were;
- 9 Recoveries
- 2 Interceptions
- 50% Ground Duels Won (3/6)
- 100% Aerial Duels Won (3/3)
- 100% Tackles Won (1/1)
He provided this much defensive cover AND managed to create 6 total chances for his team mates. These type of performances are what he is capable of on a regular basis and emphasise how he plays the game.
Jose Cifuentes is the epitome of a box to box midfielder and one I’ll be delighted with should the transfer to Rangers be completed as expected.
I think Jose Cifuentes would be an incredible addition to Michael Beale’s Rangers squad. He can offer everything that you need in a midfielder and he does it all incredibly well. Playing in a team like Rangers that dominate the ball and other teams so much his goal contributions will undoubtedly increase upon his arrival.
One thing is for sure, if Brighton have been scouting a player, then there’s a huge chance they have something brilliant about them. Only last year the Seagulls were interested in the Ecuadorian and now he’s available for a cut-price deal and wants to come to Ibrox.
This is a deal which, I think, will be incredible for Rangers in the short and long term. Short term it gives Rangers a top level player to add more pace, power and tenacity to the midfield. Long term he’ll be a hugely valuable sellable asset, I really don’t see a down side to this deal.
With the money set to be involved on both the clubs and the players’ side, even if it doesn’t work out as all Rangers fans hope, he will almost definitely still be sold for profit. If this one goes through it’s an excellent piece of business from the club and great work from the scouting department.
How excited are you for the potential arrival of Jose Cifuentes?
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