Former Rangers manager Alex McLeish is yet to be won over by Cyriel Dessers with the £4.5 million summer signing yet to ‘bare his teeth’ at the Scottish Premiership giants. 

If the former Feyenoord striker thought he could get away with a rather token defensive effort in his new Glasgow home, well he certainly found out the hard way that this could not be further from the truth.

Jeered off after a less-than-stellar performance in a 4-0 hammering of Livingston in August; this certainly wasn’t the dream start for a new £4.5 million acquisition looking to leave a positive first impression on an expectant Rangers fanbase. 

UEFA Champions League: Rangers v Inter Milan
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Cyriel Dessers has scored only two goals in nine Gers appearances. But McLeish, speaking to the Scottish Sun, admits that a lack of end-product is not his only concern with the Belgium-born Nigeria international. 

Cyriel Dessers has a lot to prove at Rangers

“We’ve still to see these new guys bare their teeth,” McLeish argues. “If Dessers comes back in, should he show more physicality? Too right.

“We know the rules are different now, players don’t get away with the niggly things of years ago because the camera picks everything up. But you’ve still got to be robust and impose yourself on your opponent, especially centre- forwards against defenders.

“Imagine what Ally McCoist and Mark Hateley did in the past. The Rangers boys must establish themselves to that kind of level. That’s the task ahead for them. 

“With the likes of Dessers, he has to bare his teeth.” 

Opportunity knocks

Dessers, who broke the 20-goal mark for Feyenoord in 2021/22 before spending the following season in Serie A, may be afforded another opportunity to stake his claim against Real Betis in the Europa League this week.

Danilo, another big-money summer signing, showed a tantalising glimpse of his potential with a thumping header against St Johnstone before walking off with a fractured cheekbone.