Cedric Itten: 5 things to know about Rangers’ new Swiss star

By This Is Ibrox
 August 5, 2020

By Nischal Schwager-Patel - @Nischal_SP

Rangers have completed the signing of Swiss striker Cedric Itten, joining from St. Gallen on Tuesday.

The 23-year-old has arrived at Ibrox on a four-year deal, having just completed the Swiss Super League season less than 24 hours earlier. Itten is a promising addition to Steven Gerrard’s side, offering a breath of fresh air ahead of the 2020/21 campaign.

While he is relatively unknown outside his native Switzerland, there is real cause for excitement for all Gers fans. Ahead of his first game in royal blue, here are a few things you should know about Rangers recruit Cedric Itten. 

1. Cedric Itten had an outstanding season

It is a given considering he is now at Rangers, but Itten just had his best season yet for St. Gallen. He scored 20 goals in 36 appearances across all competitions, helping Die Espen finish second in their best league finish since 2001.

Itten scored 19 times and got seven assists in the Swiss Super League, a truly prolific campaign in attack. He finished as the league’s second top scorer, with the best goal tally for a Swiss player since the legendary Alexander Frei in 2012. 

The numbers do not lie for Itten, whose contributions have made up a third of all of St. Gallen’s goals this season. He will be a huge loss at the kybunpark after a dazzling season in Switzerland, but St. Gallen’s loss is Ranger’s overwhelming win.

2. He scored six minutes into his international debut

Itten is not just prolific in club football, earning his first senior callup to the Switzerland national team last November. The striker was called up for the Schweizer Nati’s EURO 2020 qualifiers, needing wins to qualify in their final games against Georgia and Gibraltar.

He was a substitute against Georgia, but with the game goalless with 20 minutes to play, Itten came on for Albian Ajeti. Six minutes after his introduction to the game, he headed home brilliantly to win the game for Switzerland, as it ended 1-0 in St. Gallen.

Itten deservedly started the next game against Gibraltar, scoring a brace as the Nati ran out 6-1 winners and qualified for EURO 2020. His return of three goals in two games was the perfect start to life with the national team, as he hopes to make the final squad for the tournament next summer.

3. Cedric Itten is excellent in the air

If you have to choose just one of Itten’s strengths, it has to be his heading. Every great striker is a marksman with their hard, and the Basel-born man is no exception. Two of his three Switzerland goals were with his head, while he scored five headers this season alone for St. Gallen.

Standing tall at 6 ft 2 in, it is no surprise that Itten is clinical in the air. He rarely wastes chances crossed into him, and is exactly the type of player you would want on the end of a tantalising cross. His goals prove his ability once again, a superb striker to have up top.

His heading ability is not just put to good use for goals, as Itten is decent in winning aerial duels. Signing for a team who play with a lot of crossing is the perfect match for him, and it will certainly suit him well when he steps onto the pitch for the first time. 

4.He is a solid target man striker

Itten is like a classic striker: always in the right place at the right time. His aerial prowess means he is perfect to be used as a target man, not to mention his style of play as a goal poacher. Whether he is playing as the lone striker or with a partner, he can always find the net.

His positioning and awareness in the box is a crucial trait, always working his way into the box and in between the defenders. Itten’s simple yet intelligent runs have caused many problems, as defences lose track of him and allow him in to bare in on goal.

Any team needs their striker to be expertly positioned, and that is something Itten has done since his early days at FC Basel. As long as he is getting quality service and at ease in the final third, he will have no trouble finishing off team moves and scoring goals.

5. Cedric Itten has huge potential

There is so much to laud about Itten, but the most exciting thing of all is that the best is yet to come. He is 23 - old enough to have experience in the Swiss top flight, but young enough to know that his best years are still ahead of him.

He will need patience to adapt to the Scottish game, but time is on his side. Itten has shown huge promise so far, and his switch to Rangers is the big move he desperately needed to step up in his career. He has much to learn, but the talent is already there.

Itten will be welcomed with open arms at Rangers, ready to show Scotland and maybe even Europe what he is capable of. He can truly thrive at Ibrox and flourish as one of the Premiership’s best strikers, as the next stage of Itten’s career is underway. 

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