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Arthur Numan predicts Cedric Itten will click and become a huge favourite with Rangers fans

© Stuart Wallace/BPI/ShutterstockCedric Itten was a sub against St Johnstone in midweek and Arthur Numan expects big things from him
Cedric Itten was a sub against St Johnstone in midweek and Arthur Numan expects big things from him

Cedric Itten was an unknown quantity when Rangers signed him for around £2 million from St Gallen.

With just 45 minutes under his belt following substitute appearances against both St Mirren and St Johnstone, that remains the case.

But one man who knows the 23-year-old Swiss international very well is former Ibrox favourite, Arthur Numan.

He scouted Itten for AZ Alkmaar, and was very impressed with the striker.

The Dutchman believes Itten will quickly settle into the Scottish game, become a fans’ favourite and a dream team-mate for the rest of the squad.

Numan told The Sunday Post: “In my scouting job at AZ, I cover a lot of games in Scandinavia, but also the likes of Switzerland as that is the type of market we operate in.

“St Gallen had lots of scouts at their games as word was spreading about two or three of their players.

“Ermedin Demirovic, who was on loan there from Spanish club, Alaves, was attracting lots of attention from many clubs around Europe.

“He is a good striker, very dangerous, and ended up signing for Freiburg for around £5m.

“But Cedric Itten was a player who caught my eye.

“He is tall, has a good presence and can score goals. Over 15 or 20 yards, he has a good turn of pace, and can be very dangerous.

“I also liked his work ethic. At the right moment, he would move into space to give his team-mates an option for a pass.

“If you are the player in possession, it makes life so much easier when players look to receive the ball.

“His movement was clever, too. It wasn’t as though he was just running around for the sake of it.

“No, he picked the right moment, peeling away from his marker at nice times.

“He also looks to have that winning mentality. I could see him trying to inspire those around him, and the times I watched him, he always gave 100%.

“I think the Rangers fans are going to really take to him. He has that kind of personality.

“In the end, AZ didn’t go for him because a striker was not our priority.

“We are also waiting to see how the transfer market settles as there is still a little bit of uncertainty as to the direction it will take in this window.

“But I am very pleased for Rangers that they have signed Itten. I’m quite sure he will do well.

“He has also broken into the Switzerland team and has scored three goals.

“That shows his career is moving in the right direction.”

© SNS
Former Rangers player Arthur Numan

Steven Gerrard’s team travel to Livingston this afternoon as they look to make it four wins on the trot.

Awaiting them in West Lothian is an artificial surface that never receives too many compliments.

Numan would rather all games were played on grass, but accepts that if his former club are to stop Celtic from doing 10-in-a-row, they will need to win at such venues.

He said: “It’s been a great start for Rangers. To win three games in a row and not concede any goals shows it is going well.

“The secret is to take one game at a time, and not let the mind wander too far ahead.

“Going away from home is never an easy task, and Livingston will be awkward opponents.

“Sure, they haven’t won a game yet, but they did show some good qualities to get a 2-2 draw at Motherwell the other night.

“I expect their players will give that little bit more because Rangers are coming to town.

“It’s live on the television, and it’s a chance for a Livingston player to steal the headlines and make a name for himself.

“So Rangers need to be focused and professional.

“The players are in a confident mood, and in good form. There is a chance to build up an interesting points lead over Celtic, and they must grasp that opportunity.

“I know it’s early in the season, but every game is so important.

“There is so much at stake this season and Rangers need to deliver.

“I think they can do it but there is a long way to go and so much hard work in the weeks and months ahead.”

With Kemar Roofe also at the club after his £4.5m transfer from Anderlecht, it leaves Gerrard with many options, albeit Jermaine Defoe is injured just now.

But what does the future hold for Alfredo Morelos? He is back in goalscoring form, and interest remains for clubs looking to buy him for a fee of between £15-20m.

Numan said: “Alfredo is a good striker, we all know that. He can score goals and that’s why other teams are looking at him.

“In an ideal world, you keep him because you can never have too many options.

“But there is also a need to do the right thing from a business point of view, and you cannot ignore big-money bids.

“It will be interesting to see what happens in the next few weeks.

“The English clubs are back in training next week, and that usually means their market will start to move and that can dictate things elsewhere.

“All Steven Gerrard can ask of Alfredo is that he gives 100% every time he pulls on the Rangers jersey. I’m sure that won’t be a problem.

“Apart from that, it’s a case of waiting to see what develops.

“Rangers can’t stop clubs being interested in Alfredo and tabling bids.”