Friendly report hints at surprise new role for Gerrard favourite - where his future lies?
Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images

Rangers star Daniel Candeias given surprise new role against TNS

Rangers recorded a narrow 1-0 win over The New Saints FC in a friendly at the Hummel Training Centre on Wednesday afternoon.
Following a 2-0 victory against Mansfield Town in Portugal at the weekend, Steven Gerrard’s side continued their 100% pre-season record.

However, these games are more about getting players up to speed than the scoreline.
A total of 22 Gers got a run out at Auchenhowie, as preparations step up for the Europa League qualifiers.
One particular stand out detail from the club’s official match report, though, related to a Gerrard favourite. Daniel Candeias.

Candeias usually operates on the right wing. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

The Portuguese was a near-permanent fixture on the right wing across the 2018/19 season. His 52 appearances in all competitions [Soccerbase] were bettered only by James Tavernier and Connor Goldson.
However, the club has recruited heavily during this window. Especially, in wide areas.

Sheyi Ojo and Jake Hastie have both been added to the first team squad, with both wingers preferring to operate from the right.
Therefore, competition is greater than it’s ever been for Candeias as he approaches his third season at Ibrox.

The ex-Benfica man netted five times and registered five assists in the league last season. (Photo by Sergei FadeichevTASS via Getty Images)

A new role for Candeias?

Surprisingly, the match report claims he played in midfield during the second half of the friendly.
Based on the teamsheet, it seems Jake Hastie featured on the right, pushing Candeias inside to accompany Ross McCrorie and Glen Kamara in the centre.
Perhaps with the options now available to Gerrard, Candeias could be most useful in an advanced central role.
Given greater freedom there, he would be charged with unlocking opposition defences. In the long-term, as he begins to lose his pace, perhaps he will end up more suited to a central berth.
It’s certainly an interesting idea. Yet, for now, it remains to be seen whether this was a one-off experiment or something we’ll see more of going forward.

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