Glasgow Rangers newcomer Kemar Roofe has been tipped by Philippe Albert to become an “instant hit at Ibrox” just like Ianis Hagi, in conversation with the Daily Record.
Roofe has joined Rangers from Anderlecht for a reported £4million fee (Daily Mail), returning to Britain after a year-long stint in Belgium, prior to which he played for Leeds United.
The 27-year-old scored 32 goals in 122 games for Leeds and was highly rated by Marcelo Bielsa, who admitted last August that he couldn’t “be happy” to see the attacker leave (BBC Sport).
At Anderlecht, Roofe unfortunately saw his campaign hampered by injury, but still managed a respectable seven goals and three assists in 16 appearances in all competitions.
Albert, a former Newcastle cult hero and Belgium international who now works as a pundit in his homeland, is not overly concerned about Roofe’s difficult stint in Brussels.
“The move simply didn’t work out for him but I would use the example of Hagi as the best way to predict how Roofe will do,” Albert told the Daily Record. “Hagi was struggling but he was an instant hit at Ibrox and Roofe can do the same.
“I feel the British style of football will be better for Kemar because tactically it’s more open in Scotland than it is in Belgium and he needs space. I believe he’ll score between 12 and 20 goals if he plays week in, week out at Rangers.
“He is very quick and he scored a few goals for Anderlecht but he should have done better… I must stress that Anderlecht have been in a bad way over the last two years so it wasn’t easy for him to settle in a new country in a team that isn’t playing well.”
In the space of a couple of hours on Tuesday afternoon, Rangers solved their crisis up front by bringing in two high-quality strikers in Roofe and Cedric Itten.
Roofe – who can play on the wing, in attacking midfield and up front – was actually linked with Rangers last summer, though the Glasgow club lost out to the Belgian side in the end.
With Alfredo Morelos’ future at Ibrox in doubt, Roofe is a welcome addition to Rangers, a versatile and talented player who has received plenty of plaudits including from the great Marcelo Bielsa.