In the early hours of yesterday morning (in the UK), Jose Cifuentes played his last game for LAFC. The 24-year-old Ecuadorian international has all but agreed a move to Rangers from the MLS. He already said his goodbyes to the club and fans via Instagram earlier in the week;
Given this message it may have seemed odd to fans that he played yesterday but there is nothing to suggest there’s anything wrong within the deal. Chris Jack of The Herald had this to say on the deal;
The Ecuadorian is poised to quit Major League Soccer outfit Los Angeles FC and is expected to jet in for a medical sooner rather than later to add further strength to the Ibrox midfield.Chris Jack, The Herald
The above statement, from a reliable source, should ease Rangers fans mind on this one, he’s coming, it’s only a matter of time.
His Last MLS Performance
It’s fair to say that the South American midfielder went out with a bang in his performance yesterday despite the game ending in a 0-0 draw. He controlled the midfield for LAFC and if any Rangers fans were wondering what we were in for, just take a look at these numbers;
- 88 Minutes Played
- 5 Chances Created (The most in the match)
- 10 Passes Into The Final Third
- 100% Successful Dribbles (2/2)
- 9 Recoveries
- 50% Ground Duels Won (3/6)
- 100% Aerial Duels Won (3/3)
Now, that, is what I call a complete midfield performance. In this game he was a constant threat going forward, driving and looking to get the ball to the attackers as quickly as possible. It’s not very often as a midfielder that you’ll create five chances and come away with zero assists but Brad Guzan for Atlanta was incredible.
On any other evening, Cifuentes comes away from this match with at least two assists. Unfortunately, he wasn’t to end his MLS spell with a goal contribution, or a victory. One thing to note for Rangers is that he had to come off with an injury in the 88th minute. Currently it remains unclear the extent of the injury so, hopefully, it’s nothing too serious.
What Can Rangers Fans Expect From Jose Cifuentes
Derek Clark at the Rangers Review spoke to LAFC podcaster Chris Saenz and asked ‘What sort of player is he and what can Rangers fans expect should he pitch up in Glasgow?’, he had this to say;
He’s an attacking midfielder in the 10 position. He is a dynamic scorer, he can come in and put that extra pressure and score from that midfield position. He’s got a great work rate, doesn’t really have any injuries, he’s represented his country for the Ecuadorian national team. He played for them at the last World Cup and he’s progressed really well. He’s a nice young man, very well mannered and I think that he would do well. He’s been looking for this opportunity to move on, I think that he’s ready.Chris Saenz of Shoulder 2 Shoulder the LAFC podcast
Very high praise indeed from a fan of the club he’s coming from. Rangers will be back competing for the SPFL title and in Europe next season so need players that are raring to go and hungry. This description seems to fit Cifuentes down to a tee and these comments make me excited about his arrival.
Find further analysis here.
When Will he be Signing?
That much is currently unclear but Jose Cifuentes to Rangers is, by all accounts, pretty much a done deal. This has been confirmed by reports from The 4th Official from May 18th. It’s been a deal which has taken longer to iron out than the other three confirmed deals, mostly due to the fact that is contract with LAFC doesn’t expire until December. That obviously means there has to be a fee involved and the delay is likely due to making an agreement there that works for both sides. Also add in the fact that LAFC had the North American Champions League Final to contend in, it’s meant he hasn’t yet arrived at Ibrox.
There should be no need to worry about this one for Rangers fans. This deal will happen and it’s an incredibly exciting one in my opinion. There’s just something about welcoming a South American talent to your club.. I can’t wait to see him in a Rangers kit.