Back in April when the on-loan Coventry centre back was first linked I covered what he could bring to the club here. Now, late last night the Daily Record suggested that a deal worth £2.5m was nearing completion. The 22-year-old centre back previously worked with Michael Beale when both were at Chelsea and the manager is keen apparently keen on bringing Panzo to Rangers.
He’s had an interesting career so far after starting out in the Chelsea youth set up. AS Monaco paid a reported £2.6m to take him to the principality. He then spent a season on loan in Belgium with Cercle Brugge, before making a £3m switch to Dijon in August 2020. He then headed back to England, to Nottingham Forest but he was loaned out to Coventry for the entirety of last season. Unfortunately, he was on the losing side in the play-off final and put in a shaky personal performance.
Before that though, he had impressed in the Championship as a left sided centre back, capable of playing left back. Michael Beale knows him very well and will know what to expect of him and he seems keen to want to push this one through.
Defensively, Panzo has very impressive numbers;
- 1.7 Interceptions Per Game
- 1.6 Tackles Per Game
- 58% Total Duels Won (4.2)
- 57% Ground Duels Won (2.2)
- 59% Aerial Duels Won (2)
These numbers indicate that he is a very solid defender, especially considering how competitive the Championship is. His high number of interceptions show’s a good level of positioning and understanding of the game. Also, he’s very solid in the tackle and loves to get stuck in.
As a left sided centre back he is very comfortable on the ball, similar to Ben Davies. He is also a fan of those long, raking switches of play to open up the pitch. For a fee of £2.5m and at only 22-years-old, if the rumours of selling Davies are true, he could be a terrific replacement.
How Likely is Panzo to Rangers?
According to the aforementioned piece by Scott McDermott, Rangers are the front runners. Although Coventry and West Brom are showing interest also. He understands the Rangers favouritism here comes from his connection to Michael Beale.
£2.5m is the fee quoted in the article. If that happens to be true, I think it rules Rangers out of a move for Auston Trusty. Unless, Ben Davies is sold and the manager wants two left sided centre backs for cover.
If Rangers were to recoup the outlay for Davies and replace him with Panzo for £2.5m then that’s good business. Panzo is five years younger with a much higher ceiling and potential of profit. This would be a player trading model type of move.
Most fans last memory of him will be his five minute disaster cameo in the play-off final. That was an outlier compared to his previous performances this season though. He’s a solid defender with good ability on the ball. Coming from the Chelsea Academy and having played in France and Belgium he comes with a good pedigree.
£2.5m could be a bargain for the 22-year-old who still has time to develop. Personally, I would rather see the club go for Auston Trusty. That being said, Michael Beale was 2/2 with his transfers before this summer, so what do I know?
Panzo would be the fourth signing this summer and the fourth Englishmen. With transfers moving thick and fast it would be nice to broaden the scouting horizon a little.
Deals for Jose Cifuentes, Sam Lammers and Cyriel Dessers are said to be moving along well. It’s a very exciting time to be a Rangers fan. I think everyone can agree the squad refresh was necessary. Michael Beale is getting the business done quick and that’s encouraging to see.
Which of the potential new faces excite you the most?