Rangers are closing in on a deal to land Leicester City attacker Joe Dodoo for a deal rumoured to be around £250k.
The 21-year-old - who spent time on loan at Bury last season - will become Rangers’ ninth signing of the season if the deal is completed.
Here is everything you need to know about the attacker.
Dodoo is a versatile attacker
The youngster was largely used at Leicester as a winger, though his natural position is through the centre as a striker. At Rangers he’ll likely become used as a hybrid incorporating these two roles. Mark Warburton likes himself a central attacker who can operate on the flank, as evidenced by his preference for using Kenny Miller and Martyn Waghorn in the same team without space for both of them to play in their favoured positions. Dodoo will likely compete with Miller for a place, rotating with Waghorn so they split time between the central role and the right flank, while Barrie McKay mans the opposite wing.
Dodoo’s game is built around quickness
Dodoo prefers to use quick feet and skill to get around opponents, but he’s also got the pace to stretch defences running in behind. He’s a raw talent and Warburton will maybe look to mould him over a couple of years before he’s installed as an established member of the starting XI. He does, however, already have good finishing ability and could be exactly the type of player to bring off the bench when Rangers are leading, as other teams will begin to chase the game and Dodoo could exploit the space left beyond the defensive line.
Leicester offered him a new deal
This doesn’t necessarily mean Leicester were desperate to keep him. Considering they’d just won the Premier League title, any decent offer with a verbal promise of more first-team football in future would surely have Dodoo signing immediately. Instead, he mulled over his options and Rangers swooped in.
It’s standard practice for clubs to do this with players under the age of 24 due to the rules regarding freedom of contract. Anyone signing a player under the age of 24 (it’s 23 in Scotland) must pay compensation to the previous club if the prior employers made an attempt to keep the player by offering a new deal. Rangers will only have to pay around £250,000 for Dodoo, but the fee would potentially have been much greater if another English side had swooped for him.
Although, in the player’s defence, the contract offer was made before Rangers made an interest. The likeliest explanation is that Leicester wanted to keep him, but under the same terms he was currently on, and Dodoo wanted to find himself first-team football.
He scored a hat-trick on his debut
Dodoo played in all three of Leicester’s League Cup games last season, the first of which was his debut, a third-round clash against Bury at Gigg Lane. The attacker announced himself in a big way, scoring a hat-trick as the Foxes eased to a 4-1 victory. His first goal that night was a thing of beauty, flicking the ball over a defender before hammering it into the back of the net via the underside of the crossbar. He was rewarded with his one and only Premier League appearance the following Saturday, coming on as a substitute in a 1-1 draw with Bournemouth. He then scored again in a 2-1 win over West Ham in the following round and started the 1-1 draw with Hull, where Leicester would exit the competition after losing on penalties.
Rangers fans are familiar with two of his former club-mates
James Tavernier’s goal in a 1-0 win over Dumbarton ensured Rangers won the Scottish Championship title at Ibrox, but they would have secured the league sooner had it not been for Harry Panayiotou, a Raith Rovers striker on loan from Leicester during the second half of last season. The former under-21 team-mate of Dodoo missed an injury-time penalty near the end of Rovers’ meeting with Rangers at Starks Park, but fired in an equaliser seconds later to postpone the party. It was the only league goal Panayiotou netted in the Championship last season, which raises questions over Dodoo’s pedigree when you consider Panayiotou was Leicester’s reigning under-21 player of the year coming into the campaign.
However, Waghorn is another old club-mate of Dodoo that Leicester fans never really warmed to, and he’s proven himself to be an astute purchase by Warburton. These contrasting examples underline the difficulty in judging new, young signings coming from another country.