With the news that Scott Arfield has been lined up for a shock move to Turkey – it would be a surprise if Giovanni van Bronckhorst let him go – Rangers have been linked with a younger version who is equally adept at producing double digit goals and assists.
Ahmed Kendouci of Algerian side ES Sadif is said to be attracting both sides of the Old Firm divide and it’s easy to see why with 30 goal contributions in 78 games from midfield, a report by DZFOOT detailing that there hasn’t been any offers yet but that he wouldn’t demand an exorbitant transfer fee:
“Kendouci’s performances, precisely, would not have remained unnoticed on the side of the Old Continent and more particularly of Scotland. According to our information, the two biggest clubs in Scotland, Celtic Glasgow and Glasgow Rangers, are both strongly interested in the player. No offer has, for the time being, been made but the ESS would not be very greedy for the native of Ghriss.”
Rangers fans that follow Patrick Caskie on Twitter will already be aware of Kendouci having highlighted him previously as a player that we should be keeping an eye on in an article in The Rangers Review, here he explains precisely what he would bring to Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s midfield:
“When playing centrally, the Algerian is adept at receiving the ball in between the lines and forcing defensive switches. However, he is no easier to contain with the ball at his feet as his flair and intelligence constantly force defenders to second-guess themselves. When centrally more so than in any other position, Kendouci can show off the scope of his vision as he sits back and orchestrates Setif’s attack, often finishing the chances himself.”
With Steven Davis and Arfield both out of contract at the end of the season and Ryan Jack’s future still uncertain, midfield is definitely an area of the park that we will be looking for reinforcements, as with Joe Aribo and Ianis Hagi, having players who are versatile makes the manager’s job an awful lot easier.
Kendouci who has been linked with both Glasgow clubs is another fantastic prospect. Could play either the Arfield or Hagi role, and would be an especially shrewd way of replacing Hagi should we receive a substantial bid. pic.twitter.com/H4oaWwvOod
— Patrick Caskie (@patrickcaskie) January 13, 2022
Kendouci sounds like an interesting prospect but I’m not sure I’d be ready to allow Arfield to leave halfway through an important season and replace him with a player that doesn’t have any European or international experience regardless of how good his numbers might be. As an option for the future or off the bench, especially with five subs for the rest of the season? Absolutely.
Rangers and Celtic will shop in a lot of the same markets but there is always an air of scepticism when both clubs are mentioned in connection with a player, it wouldn’t be the first time that they have bought a player purely in an attempt to gt one over on us – Maurice Johnston was over 30 years ago, let it go lads.