24-year-old Brazilian Danilo joined from Feyenord for a reported £5.4m and had fans delighted at the prospect of having a South American striker. So why has he barely played? He was touted as being someone that Michael Beale was desperate to get in. Yet, in 9 appearances for the club so far, he’s only started 3 games. He started both legs against Servette and at Ibrox against Livingston in the SPFL.
Considering he was the marquee signing of the summer, it seems odd that he’s played half the minutes of other new forward Cyriel Dessers. Even when Danilo has played, he’s found himself mostly stuck out on the left wing, a position he isn’t familiar with. His play time just causes even more confusion with decisions made in the transfer window.
Four new forwards have been brought in and it doesn’t seem like Michael Beale knows how to get the best out of any of them. Danilo came in with the reputation of being a sharpshooter with a great goals-to-minutes ratio. Yet, he finds himself stuck out on the left side being expected to create for others?
It’s not been a great start to the season for Rangers or Michael Beale and his decisions around playstyle and formation are cause for concern. Even more concerning is spending this much on a player and having no idea how to utilise him. Let’s look at Danilo’s numbers last season and how he should be used in this system.
Danilo at Feyenord
Danilo was mostly used as an impact sub after the emergence of Santiago Gimenez. This is another reason fans were slightly confused at the large spend on him. Despite his record in the Netherlands, apart from one season on loan at FC Twente, he’s largely played from the bench for Ajax and Feyenord.
His 22/23 Eredivisie were as follows;
- 34 Appearances (14 Starts)
- 39mins Per Game
- 134mins Per Goal
- 16% Goal Conversion Rate
As previously mentioned, a very good goals-to-minute ratio. These numbers show that he’s a good finisher and all his minutes were played through the middle. He’s only been the main man once in his career so far and he had a great season at FC Twente when he was the first option;
- 33 Appearances (31 Starts)
- 156mins Per Goal
- 18% Goal Conversion
Again, further evidence that he is a good goal scoring striker, when played through the middle. All the evidence here points to a striker that will score goals when played in their natural position and given minutes. Yet, as of today, he’s played just about half the minutes of Dessers.
Why? Is Danilo not impressing in training? He missed a big chance away in Servette and half a couple of half chances against Celtic but he’s never been terrible on the pitch. He needs and deserves more minutes.
Throughout his whole career, he’s been a striker that has gotten goals playing centrally. For some reason, Michael Beale keeps sticking him onto the left hand side. He’s not the type of player who will carry all the way up the pitch and beat multiple opponents.
What he will do though is press very well and force defenders into mistakes so he can either get an opportunity for himself or a team mate. Over 184 total career appearances, he has scored 89 goals and averages a goal every 118 minutes. That is honestly incredible and shows he needs to be played through the middle and given minutes.
None of the other forwards that have been given more a chance through the middle have hit form so it’s time to let the Brazilian loose. Do you agree that Danilo deserves more minutes as the main striker? If not, who do you think should be the main option? Should Beale try two strikers through the middle instead of wide strikers?
ICYMI yesterdays article on Robbie Ure is available here.