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Opinion: Risk is worth taking for Rangers to sign star 19-year-old

Glasgow Rangers are interested in a summer deal for Atletico Madrid rising star Rodrigo Riquelme, according to Marca, and after looking into the youngster in more detail, the teenager looks like a risk worth taking for the Gers.

The 19-year-old is in the Atleti reserve ranks at the moment, but he has an abundance of ability.

Riquelme featured in the Atletico under-19 side’s 4-0 win over their Rangers equivalents recently.

His performance left all the coaches raving about bringing a player of his standard to Ibrox, especially if they can get him on a Bosman deal. 

The Spaniard is seemingly unwilling to sign a new contract with the Madrid giants because he is unsure of getting first-team chances.

Reported Rangers target Riquelme is a versatile player who can play on the left wing or as a No. 10, just being the strikers, or as a right-winger.

The Atletico development team have been brilliant throughout the UEFA Youth League, but this special player completely tore the young Gers apart.

To come to Scotland and defeat this quality young Rangers side 4-0 with a remarkable display from a rare talent, was simply a joy to witness.

Left-winger Riquelme turns 20 on April 2 and already looks like a top-class footballer. He set up three of the Atletico goals against Rangers.

The quality of his play had everybody going overboard about him, and his contract ends on 30 June 2020, making him available on a free transfer.

But, would he come to Rangers?

A comparison could be Mikel Arteta, who moved to Ibrox as a Barcelona B player at only 19.

Arteta signed for Rangers in March 2002 and starred for two seasons at Ibrox, before going to Real Sociedad, his home club.

He moved to Everton in 2005 and praised Rangers for improving him. It toughened him up to play 209 times for the Toffees in the Premier League.

Mikel Arteta signed for Arsenal on 31 August 2011 and played 150 games for the Gunners – and is now their manager.

Despite Riquelme’s obvious class and high valuation, he is frustrated sitting on the bench and he has only played once in La Liga this season.

If Gerrard could persuade Riquelme to join him at Ibrox, it would be a similar coup to Ianis Hagi.

Rangers will no doubt face extremely strong competition for the winger – but the Gers could convince him that a move to Glasgow was in his best interests.

Riquelme would be a wonderful piece of business for Gerrard to achieve – it would be a risk worth taking for one of football’s hottest prospects.

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