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The National (Scotland)
The National (Scotland)
Aidan Smith

Abdallah Sima tipped for even more Rangers goals as his best position revealed

Billy Reid has expressed his delight in seeing Abdallah Sima shine for Rangers, but he reckons there is more to come from the exciting frontman.

Sima moved to Rangers on loan from Brighton in the summer and is starting to find form with six goals in his last five starts for the Ibrox club.

Reid worked alongside the Senegal international at Brighton when he was assistant manager to Graham Potter during his time at the club.

It has been no surprise to the former Hamilton boss to see Sima thriving and he believes there is even more to come from the winger.

Reid told The Sun: “As most people know, Brighton’s recruitment policy is based on a points system and Abdallah’s attributes flagged him up to us on that.

“The plan when he came to the UK was always to put him out on loan to develop and get used to Britain.

“Even little things like getting better with the language, because his English wasn’t great initially.

“It was how Brighton operated. Moises Caicedo went out on loan to a team at the bottom of the Belgian league, Beerschot, and he’s just moved for £115million.

“When Alexis Mac Allister joined, he stayed in Argentina with a couple of clubs before he came to Britain.

“Abdallah had an injury when he arrived from Slavia Prague and, for a couple of weeks, he wasn’t at his best.

“You could see the attributes he’s now showing with Rangers. He was quick, strong and could run in behind defences.

“But it was clear he wasn’t firing on all cylinders — and when he went to Stoke, he had the same problems and couldn’t get a decent run in their team.

“He’s a player who needs to be at his top physical level to show what he’s capable of.

“He trained well and worked really hard in every session because he wants to do well.

“As a lad, he’s terrific. He was one of those boys who always came in with a smile on his face.

“He’s an infectious character and even when his English wasn’t great, he was always a big part of the dressing-room.

“Now he’s comfortable speaking the language, I’m sure he is popular around Ibrox.”

Reid also feels that Sima has the strong mentality needed to succeed at a club like Rangers and he reckons that will help him thrive under new manager Philippe Clement.

He added: “Everyone knows it can go one of two ways in this city. You can hit the ground running and the fans take to you, or you have a hard time and you’ve got to win them over.

“I’m delighted Abdallah is getting a run of games and scoring goals. Being in the side and playing consistently will only benefit him.

“Going to Rangers on loan, I wondered where he’d play. He’s a striker, but I think they use him coming in from the left, using his pace and power.

“Some of his goals have been clinical finishes.

“With the pace he has, he will run away from most defenders here. And he can do explosive things.

“I watched the Rangers game against PSV and he had a difficult first half. You could hear the supporters getting on his back a bit.

“But then he got a yard of space and curled one into the top bin — that’s the kind of thing he’s capable of doing. He can do brilliant things.

“It’s just about finding that level of consistency that is required at Rangers.

“I’m back in Scotland at the moment and I’ve probably seen more of Rangers in the last three months than I have in the last 11 years.

“Everyone knows how demanding things are at the top of the Premiership.

“If Rangers had won the first Old Firm game of the season then things might have turned out completely differently for Michael Beale.

“I saw them a couple of times towards the end of last season and thought they looked OK.

“But the players that have come in during the summer didn’t gel, he had a few injuries and then we know what happened.

“It’ll be interesting to see how it goes under the new manager, but he’s got off to a good enough start.”

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