Football : We'll Make Niet Profit This Time; GERS IN CANADA Loan Ranger Becomes Summer Signing Number 5 McLEISH: ARGENTINE HITMAN WON'T BE A FLOP AT RANGERS

The Mirror (London, England), July 9, 2005 | Go to article overview
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Football : We'll Make Niet Profit This Time; GERS IN CANADA Loan Ranger Becomes Summer Signing Number 5 McLEISH: ARGENTINE HITMAN WON'T BE A FLOP AT RANGERS


Byline: Iain Campbell

BRITISH football has not always been a happy hunting ground for players from South America.

For every Ossie Ardiles there has been a Seb Rozental and Raphael Scheidt. Rangers, though, are optimistic they have struck gold by signing Federico Nieto from little known Almagro.

The transfer of the 21-year-old striker has sent a buzz through both Scottish and Argentinian football.

Ibrox boss Alex McLeish is anxious that the rookie does not start the new SPL season carrying the baggage of too much hope.

It seems though the player's old manager in Argentina, the legendary Jose Luis Brown who scored the opening goal in the 1986 World Cup Final, wasn't listening.

As Nieto revealed that his heroes are Gabriel Batistuta and Hernan Crespo, Brown was insisting that the player he has sent to Europe is capable of emulating the man credited with ending Roma's 16-year wait for the Serie A title.

Brown said: "I have been amazed by this Nieto. He is as strong as any striker I have seen. He reminds me of the great Batistuta in that his heart is the size of a lion's. He has the pace, the power and the eye for goal. He will be a great one."

His testimony is something McLeish would rather have been left unsaid as he spoke about the loan signing ahead of today's opening tour match in Canada.

With Nieto some 3000 miles away at Murray Park, he said: "Sometimes players from South America don't settle so we want to see if it works for both sides but we believe he's a fantastic prospect.

"I've only seen him on videos and that's why the deal is structured the way it is. Argentinians are renowned for their toughness and at six foot two I think there's an element of steel about him.

"And we hope he can also bring a bit of Argentinian flair to Rangers' style of play."

McLeish certainly didn't want to compare him with arguably the greatest striker in Argentinian history, preferring the player to find his feet in his own time.

With the clubs agreeing on a six-month loan deal, there is some urgency surrounding the player's need to prove himself for a longer contract.

McLeish said: "I don't want to compare him to anybody, we need to wait and see him.

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Football : We'll Make Niet Profit This Time; GERS IN CANADA Loan Ranger Becomes Summer Signing Number 5 McLEISH: ARGENTINE HITMAN WON'T BE A FLOP AT RANGERS
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