Cyriel Dessers knows there is a void to fill at Rangers following Alfredo Morelos’ departure but he is determined to be his own man at Ibrox.
The 28-year-old Nigeria striker became Michael Beale’s sixth signing of the summer transfer window when he joined from Cremonese on a four-year deal for a reported fee of around £4.5 million.
Dessers will be expected to take over from Colombia striker Morelos, who became a fans’ favourite during his six years in Govan where he scored 124 goals before his contract ran out at the end of the season.
Speaking at a media conference from Rangers’ training base in Germany, Dessers said: “Of course Alfredo did amazing things for Rangers at Ibrox so it is never easy to come after a good striker like he was.
“But on the other side I cannot look at the past.
“I am here for the present and for the future and I hope to do some nice things, some good things for Rangers as well and I hope I can build a similar relationship with the fans but that will depend on our relationship and the things I do on the pitch and off the pitch.
“So I am confident that can work.”
Dessers joins Abdallah Sima, Sam Lammers, Jack Butland, Dujon Sterling and Kieran Dowell as Beale’s new boys for the upcoming season, with the promise of more signings to come in the re-build as Rangers look to take the cinch Premiership title as well as both domestic cups back from Old Firm rivals Celtic following their domestic treble last season.
The former Utrecht, Heracles Almelo and Genk player looks forward to a “new wind” at Ibrox.
He said: “Rangers of course is a massive club: the history, the stadium, the fans, even the city, everything is amazing.
“But apart from that, of course I spoke with the manager as well and he spoke about what is going on now.
“After not such an easy season, there is a new wind at the club and I want to be a part of that.
“I am at a good age right now, 28 is the perfect age where physically at your top level and you have gained some experience from the last years.
“So I think that is a perfect time to play for trophies and hopefully win some trophies and of course the mentality of Rangers which is present at this moment in the team already is clear and it is clear that I want to be a part of that.
“I think I can bring some things, not only football-wise but mentality-wise in the locker room and I hope I can play a role as well in that.”
Neil Lennon revealed earlier in the week that Dessers had been on his radar while he was boss at Celtic but the Belgium-born forward is happy to be at the other side of Glasgow.
Dessers said: “I didn’t know about that at the time.
“I spoke a couple of times with Rangers in the past years and the contact has always been close so I am happy to finally be here now.
“The first contact came during Covid and it was a difficult time for a lot of clubs to make deals and after that there was always contact and casual conversations.
“If you scored goals you will probably be on some club’s radar but that is not an issue, I am happy to be here.”