Who’s on Rangers Radar: Charlie Cresswell

With news on the Jonathan Panzo deal going cold, a new link to an English centre back emerged yesterday. According to Football League World Rangers are in the race for Leeds 20-year-old defender Charlie Cresswell. The youngster impressed while on loan at Millwall last season which has apparently peaked Michael Beale’s interest.

He fits the mould of a centre back that is comfortable on the ball while being solid defensively. Watching footage of him very much reminded me of John Souttar. Cresswell is a good one on one defender and absolutely loves a tackle. Standing at 6’2, he’s strong and dominant in the air which allowed him to score three headers this season.

The Numbers

Sofascore gave him an average rating of 7.13 over the Championship season and these were his other numbers;

  • 28 Appearances (25 Starts)
  • 4G/2A
  • 83% Pass Accuracy in Own Half
  • 41% Long Ball Accuracy (4 Attempts Per Game)
  • 1.3 Interceptions Per Game
  • 1.5 Tackles Per Game
  • 58% Ground Duels Won (2.4 Per Game)
  • 61% Aerial Duels Won (5.2 Per Game)

Very impressive numbers in an incredibly competitive league for the 20-year-old. Tall, strong and composed in possession, he’s the type of modern day centre back all managers would love to have in their team.

The difference between this link and the other centre backs linked is the fact that Cresswell is right sided. The other linked centre backs, Trusty and Panzo, were both left sided and capable of playing left back also. Cresswell is right footed and played all of his football at centre back for Millwall this season. In all of his 37 professional appearances he’s played in the middle so he doesn’t possess the versatility of previous defensive targets, Dujon Sterling included.

That, of course, is no detriment to his ability and the legitimacy of this link. Despite the fact that Michael Beale spoke about hybrid players and adding versatility this summer, every signing doesn’t need to be able to play multiple positions. That being said, the manager has focused on hybrid players so far with his signings, with the exception of Jack Butland of course.

The Rumour

This is what the article in question had to say;

Football League World has been exclusively informed by sources that the 20-year-old is a target for Scottish Premiership runners-up Rangers, and a bid has already been placed by the Gers to try and bring the young defender north of the border.

However, we have been told that Mick Beale has failed in his initial bid to sign Cresswell as an undisclosed offer has been turned down by the Leeds hierarchy.

Beale has already signed multiple players who played in the Championship last season since he was appointed at Rangers in November, with Todd Cantwell, Kieran Dowell and Dujon Sterling all putting pen to paper on deals at Rangers.

And Cresswell appears to have impressed Beale with his showings for Millwall, but will clearly need to do more to land his signature.

Ben Wignall, Football League World

As the article rightly states, the English Championship is a market which Michael Beale has explored recently. With Leeds relegation though, things could go one of two ways. Leeds may decide to play youth so would keep someone like Cresswell. On the other hand, they may want to raise some funds for their mission to get back to the EPL. His Leeds contract runs to 2025 so it will be very interesting to see the type of fee they would want for him.

My Opinion

I would love Rangers to go for Charlie Cresswell. Anyone who has read the blog recently knows how fond I am of John Souttar and he has a very similar play style. At only 20 he has a lot of room to grow as he gets more first team team exposure. At the end of the day, this one, for me, all depends on the type of fee involved.

If Rangers could manage to get him for a similar price to that paid for Ben Davies last summer then I think it represents an excellent deal. In conclusion, I’m fully onboard with this deal, a player with huge potential who could be sold for big profit further down the line.

How do you feel about this link? Would you be excited for Rangers to go for Charlie Cresswell or are you more in favour of Trusty or Panzo?

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