Speaking to Herald and Times Sport, Switzerland U21 boss Mauro Lustrinelli has tipped Cedric Itten to shine in Scottish football following his summer move from St Gallen to Rangers.
The striker joined the Gers in August for an undisclosed fee reported to be in the region of £2.7m million [Sky Sports].
So far, he has two goals from nine appearances but has mainly been restricted to cameos off the bench.
Lustrinelli has praised the 23-year-old’s comeback from a serious knee injury sustained two years ago and believes he will soon be a big player for Steven Gerrard.
“Cedric Itten is a player with an incredible physical strength and a great mentality,” he told Herald and Times Sport. “It was not easy to come back to this level after such an injury. Cedric proved to have a great mentality and personality.”
“Cedric is very quiet and intelligent. But on the pitch he changes completely: he fights for every ball, giving everything for the team.
“I think he can adapt quite good to the Scottish Premiership despite his young age. He has exactly the characteristics that allow him to do so. He’s a worker, he puts passion and he wants still to improve. I’m sure that the change in the Premiership, and the chance to play in a team like Glasgow Rangers, will help him to improve even more.”
Switzerland youth coach backs Cedric Itten to thrive at Rangers – Verdict
It took Itten a little while to settle at Ibrox following a 20-goal season for St Gallen.
However, his brace off the bench against Motherwell in late September gave an indication of the ability he possesses and he should be full of confidence after his first strike at Fir Park recently won the SPFL Goal of the Month award.
After shaking off a couple of niggles and making substitute appearances for the senior Switzerland side against Croatia and Germany in recent days, he’s a dark horse for inclusion in the Gers starting XI for the clash with Celtic on Sunday.
Itten is one of several members of the current squad who is yet to experience an Old Firm, but Lustrinelli’s comments suggest he’ll be able to deal with both the physical and mental demands of derby day.
Ahead of the game, check out our Preview Video over on the Rangers News YouTube channel.