Rangers fans have a new hero in midfielder Todd Cantwell and, heading into next season, a box-office clash with Celtic captain Callum McGregor could play a key role in the title race.

As Rangers romped to a 3-0 victory over their Old Firm rivals at Ibrox, some pride was restored at a club visibly fractured in the boardroom, the dressing room and on the park this season.

With Celtic on the verge of a fifth treble in seven campaigns, Rangers’ transfer failures in the face of 55 has come back to bite the club, with a summer of expensive investment on the horizon.

But that win over Celtic shows there are shoots of recovery in this squad and plenty of talent, with Todd Cantwell the stand-out player on the pitch in a thumping victory.

Todd Cantwell bosses Callum McGregor at Ibrox

The January signing from Norwich was, at one point, tipped for the upper echelons of the Premier League until his career stagnated at the Canaries over the last few seasons.

Already, the 25-year-old midfielder has begun to find his feet at Rangers and has taken on a leadership role in the team that was exemplified by his all-action, creative display in the win over Celtic.

You get the feeling Cantwell was made for the big stage and, as 50,000 bears roared the team on at Ibrox, Celtic quite simply could not cope with the midfielder.

More pertinently, Parkhead captain Callum McGregor – the apparently Modric-esque Gallowgate Galáctico – was made to look like he’d rocked up to Sunday League.

Rangers v Celtic - Cinch Premiership
Photo by Richard Callis /Eurasia Sport Images/Getty Images

Cantwell plays with a bite to back up his bark and the contempt with which the midfielder has shown Celtic recently has endeared him even further to Rangers fans.

Coverage in the wake of Cantwell refusing Reo Hatate a water bottle at Hampden even had Todd referencing Callum McGregor when explaining it.

The Celtic captain would probably be commended for doing the same.

It’s an example of the confidence which burns in a talented midfielder who clearly believes he can more than match his midfield counterpart across the city. And probably then some.

While McGregor will be hoisting all three trophies above his head this season, it’s clear from Cantwell’s early introduction that the Celtic captain won’t have it so easy next year.

Hounded by Cantwell into some confusion with Carl Starfelt, McGregor was central to losing Celtic’s third goal against Rangers while his Ibrox counterpart showed grit and bite to make it.

This was after Cantwell had already lashed in the first.

There is a hunger and a determination in Cantwell’s game that has been severely missing from Rangers this season and that attitude bodes well going into the summer.

He’s not scared of them, he believes he’s better than them, and he’s coming for them.

Rangers must find greater consistency, and Michael Beale has had to deal with several key failings from the boardroom to the dressing room, which happened before he came into the club.

But the move for Cantwell proves that the club is heading in the right direction. Now the test for Rangers is to go out and deliver against Celtic when the pressure is on.

With next season surely set to be a much tighter affair, the league could come down to the Old Firm derbies. With the game won and lost in midfield, that box office battle with McGregor could be central to bringing the title back to Ibrox.

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