Todd Cantwell: The Maverick

Described by his old academy coach as a ‘maverick’ Todd Cantwell has been nothing short of brilliant in his time at Rangers so far. A player who was linked with multi-million pound moves and being called up to the England set up a few years ago, he’s settled in amazingly well at Ibrox.

This move seems to have given his career a real shot in the arm and he, again, looks like the player he was touted to be as a youngster. Already a fan favourite and winning numerous man of the match awards he’s looking like a bargain buy from Michael Beale.

In seven SPFL appearances he has one goal and one assist but those numbers don’t do justice to the performances he’s put in. He has been crucial in Rangers adapting to the style Beale wants to play as he’s always looking to get the ball forward and drive or pass through the lines. His passing numbers are pretty spectacular;

  • 90% Pass Accuracy
  • 96% Pass Accuracy in Own Half
  • 85% Pass Accuracy in Oppositions Half
  • 74% Long Ball Accuracy (2 Per Game)
  • 1.3 Key Passes Per Game

Truly incredible numbers over a seven game period. He currently attempts an average of 32.7 passes in the opposition half per game and making 85% of those passes connect to team mates is remarkable. He is always looking to build attacks, barely ever slowing the play down, as the current philosophy is get the ball and bodies forward. He is key to this as he retains the ball well and is also an accomplished dribbler, completing 65% of his 1.6 attempts per game.

Something which has surprised many fans is his work rate off the ball and ability to win the ball back. There was a general consensus amongst the support that he would be a bit of a luxury attacking midfielder and that couldn’t be further from the truth. He’s as tenacious as he is graceful, a combination which makes for a special talent. His tackling numbers reflect his tenacity;

1.6 Tackles Per Game

1 Times Possession Won In Final Third Per Game

0.7 Interceptions Per Game

5.4 Total Duels Won (56%)

5.3 Total Ground Duels Won (56%)

Numbers no one really expected and he has proven many wrong about the type of player he would be. Instead of the predicted ‘Classic 10’ he has come in and been a workhorse No.8, being as proactive at winning the ball back as he has been at driving forward with it. He also gets fouled 2.1 times per game, showing that the opposition at times just need to foul him to stop him from creating any more chances.

Cantwell genuinely has been a ‘maverick’ since he arrived at Ibrox to the point it’s now difficult to imagine a midfield set up without him in it. He’s showing the quality that was expected of him in his early 20s and on current form it looks like he will actually fulfill the potential expected of him at a young age. He is a joy to watch and Rangers are lucky to have him for however long he will stay at Ibrox. It’s been a tremendous start and he seems to already love the club as much as the club loves him and long may that continue.

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