‘He can be a real crowd-pleaser’ - Brian Laudrup sets Rangers benchmark for new signing Todd Cantwell

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The 24-year-old became the first signing of the Michael Beale era at Ibrox on Monday after joining for an undisclosed fee from Norwich City.

Brian Laudrup has praised “intelligent speculation” behind Rangers transfer approach under boss Michael Beale after the Englishman landed Todd Cantwell as his first January arrival yesterday.

The former Norwich City midfielder, who is looking to get his career back on track after a challenging two years at Carrow Road, put pen to paper on a ‘long-term’ deal after passing his medical at the weekend.

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Ibrox hero Laudrup insists the 24-year-old must handle the pressure of becoming a Rangers player and sees similarities in his own situation during his playing days after facing a difficult spell in Italy before Walter Smith helped him re-discover his best form.

Michael Beale can instil more belief in to new signing Todd Cantwell, according to the Ibrox legend (Image: @RangersFC - Twitter)Michael Beale can instil more belief in to new signing Todd Cantwell, according to the Ibrox legend (Image: @RangersFC - Twitter)
Michael Beale can instil more belief in to new signing Todd Cantwell, according to the Ibrox legend (Image: @RangersFC - Twitter) | @RangersFC - Twitter

The Danish legend etched his name into the Gers history books after a highly successful four-year stint in Govan and Laudrup believes Cantwell can do the same providing the Light Blues management team can instil more belief in and trust in the player.

Writing in his Scottish Daily Mail column, Laudrup said: “For different reasons, Cantwell, (Nicolas) Raskin and (Morgan) Whittaker have all had unsettled spells. They are looking for a place to take the next step forward.

“You might see elements of risk in terms of age, experience or form. But Beale is confident they can be good for Rangers and the club can be good for them. Huge dividends could be reaped if his judgement is right, both in terms of performances on the pitch and value in the transfer market.

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“Closing the gap to Celtic requires intelligent speculation with spending money and supporting Beale’s big strengths. In my eyes, these players look to fit the bill. Cantwell is a little bit older than the other two at 24. He’s been around for some time at Norwich, has played in the Premier League but has gone through a difficult time over the past year or so.

“At his best, he’s wonderful to watch. He’s one of those guys who can turn a game on its head with creativity. He’s brave on the ball, he wants to take players on and can operate in various positions - as a No10, on the right and on the left. The platform will be there for Rangers.

“His numbers need to get up in terms of goals and assists. He must handle the expectation, but he has got the ability. Cantwell needs trust. I know that feeling from my own career. While my circumstances were different when playing in Italy, I had a real desire to find a club with a combination of freedom to play and career stability.

“Rangers provided that for me. Maybe it will now be the same for Cantwell. I think he needs to know he’s an important player - one with some license to express himself witin a team structure. If he feels that trust from Beale, he can be a real crowd-pleaser because he’s got invention in his soul. He could be a tremendous Rangers player if he’s able to reconnect with the form he showed a couple of years back.”

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Meanwhile, Rangers transfer target Ross Stewart has played down speculation over his future at Sunderland by insisting his sole focus is on perfoming well for Tony Mowbray’s side.

The Scotland cap has scored 11 Championship goals so far this season and has been linked with a move to Ibrox this month. However, the striker has claimed he is happy to remain at the Stadium of Light.

He told Sky Sports: “I’m really enjoying my football and I think when you have quality players like Amad (Diallo), Patrick (Roberts) and Jack (Clarke) playing behind you it makes my life easier. We have a really talented squad, a really young squad as well. I see it every day in training, the quality players who are playing behind me and are going to create chances in this league.”

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