Rangers announced the signing of Kieran Dowell on a three-year deal last night via Twitter. It was an announcement most fans were anticipating considering Stevie Clifford of 4ladshadadream confirmed it on Tuesday evening. The 25-year-old will join the club upon his contract expiry on July 1st.
Speaking in his first interview with RTV Dowell said ‘I know a lot of Rangers fans, I know a lot of Scottish lads from previous clubs. They just speak so highly of the club, the intensity of it, the pressure of it, which I guess is a really good pressure. You’re expected to win every game and also the European games so, so many positives which convinced me to come here.’
Really encouraging words from the Englishmen and he seemed delighted to have the move confirmed early on. He’ll be joining up with former team mate Todd Cantwell in the summer and can hopefully replicate his success on the pitch.
So, what kind of player are Rangers getting in Kieran Dowell? Todd Cantwell had this to say about his former and now, future, team mate ‘He’s someone I enjoyed playing with, we had success at Norwich and he’s a top lad.’ Something that’s really good to hear from Rangers current star man, if he rates him, then there’s a chance he could be a great signing for Rangers.
His manager at Derby, former Barcelona midfielder Phillip Cocu had this to say on him ‘On the ball he is so great, his touch and his awareness in how he has to turn and his passing, also.’ Considering the level of players Cocu has played with and managed that is incredibly high praise.
He will pick up excellent positions in space and immediately look to turn and drive forward to the ball, very similar to what Cantwell does for the midfield just now. His vision is one of this key strengths as he regularly looks to thread the ball through the midfield and defences. He averaged one key pass per game and picked up three assists in 23 appearances this season.
His biggest quality is his technical ability, which not only helps him to unlock defences but also gets him goals. He possesses an ability which a lot of the current Rangers squad don’t have, the ability to score long range goals. He’s definitely not shot-shy and he loves to have a go from outside of the box. With the quality of his left foot it’s an area he’s previously gotten a lot of goals from. A criticism of this Rangers team in recent times is that players haven’t been willing to just take a shot at goal, the addition of Dowell will change that.
He’s incredibly comfortable receiving the ball on the half turn then driving at and beating defenders. This season at Norwich he averaged 0.7 dribbles per game at an incredible 76% success rate. His play style is very much reminiscent of another former Norwich player in James Maddison.
He’s not blessed with incredible defensive attributes but he is willing to put himself about and managed to win 40% of his total duels this season. Todd Cantwell also wasn’t known for his defensive work before coming to Ibrox but look at him now, one of the best players Rangers have at recovering the ball and getting it forward. Could Dowell’s defensive work show the same up turn upon his arrival in the summer?
A player of excellent attacking ability, he picked up five goals this season, unusually they all came from within the 18 yard box. The timing of his arrival into the box is what helped him to get those goals and a 24% goal conversion rate, which any striker would be proud of.
Rangers are getting a very technical and creative attacking midfielder, who just hasn’t managed to fulfill the promise he had as a youngster. Sound familiar? He’s another player who just needs a new environment to flourish and with the way Michael Beale sets his Rangers team up to play, he could really thrive at Ibrox.
The manager had this to say on his signing ‘I am delighted to welcome Kieran to Rangers. He already has great experience in his career, with a number of Premier League appearances, and he is a player we feel will fit well into our squad and style of football’. The manager’s excitement at the completion of this deal is surely something to ease the worries of fans. His other two signings haven’t worked out too bad, have they?
Do you like players who are capable of scoring 25 yard screamers and threading the ball through the eye of a needle? Then you may well just like Kieran Dowell. The fans need to give him the time they’ve given the January signings and if he gets up to the level he’s capable of, this is an absolute bargain of a signing for Rangers.