A player previously linked with both Brighton and Leeds, Jose Cifuentes is held in high regard all around North America and Europe. If the club is targeting a player Brighton have been linked with then the recruitment team are definitely on the right track.
The Ecuadorian international was linked with £15m moves away only last summer, that is how highly rated he is. So, how can Rangers be in the running? Well, his contract with LAFC is up in December and the clubs co-president has publicly stated they won’t let him run this contract down. The player himself has also been very open about his wish to play in Europe, saying it’s what he’s been dreaming about since he was a child.
Famed journalist, Fabrizio Romano, alongside The 4th Official, confirmed less than an hour ago that Rangers were in advanced talks regarding this signing and that all parties were confident a deal could be done. This would be a HUGE coup for Rangers considering the ability and reputation of the player.
In the 2022 MLS season, he scored seven and assisted six goals in 36 appearances (29 starts). This season, he hasn’t scored yet and has one assist in 10 appearances (6 starts). He’s the type of player that offers so much more than just goal contributions though.
Cifuentes is a combative midfielder who excels in breaking up opposition attacks. He has an excellent positional sense and knows exactly where to be on the pitch to help cover and prevent dangerous attacks. This season he has been averaging 0.7 interceptions per game, and 1 ‘possession won’ per game. These numbers highlight how knows where to be at the right time to steal the ball away from his opponents.
He’s currently averaging just under two tackles per game (1.9) and wins 45% of his ground duels on 3.7 per game (also 44% of aerial duels on 0.8 per game). He loves to get stuck in and isn’t afraid of doing the dirty work. He’s also incredibly athletic, in terms of pace and strength, which helps him get around the pitch and put himself about.
Not only is he excellent on the defensive end but he excels in driving forward with the ball. He has a dribble success rate of 52% on 1.2 per game and looks to get forward at every opportunity. Despite only having one assist he averages 1.5 key passes per game and has created three ‘big chances’ for his team mates.
He is a complete midfielder and one who would add tremendous quality to the current Rangers midfield. At only 24 he has plenty of room for further development and is already an established international. The fact he’s had interest from the EPL, Brighton specifically, shows the quality of the player Rangers look to be getting.
Does a midfield trio of Nicolas Raskin, Todd Cantwell and Jose Cifuentes excite you? This would be a statement signing for Rangers and one which will turn heads all over Europe!