The 22-year-old Welsh forward joined Rangers in June last year, but struggled to make an impact in his first season at Ibrox. However, the ex-Schalke 04 player has grasped the opportunity given to him by current manager Michael Beale, putting in some impressive performances and scoring his first goal for the club in last week’s 2-2 draw with PSV in the first leg of the Champions League play-off round at Ibrox.
Rangers travel to Eindhoven on Wednesday for the return leg aiming to repeat last season’s feat of knocking out he Dutch team and making it past the qualifiers of Europe’s premier competition and Dessers – who has experience of playing in the Eredivisie with Feyenoord – believes a reinvigorated Matondo can help the land a victory. The Welshman scored with a composed finish to make it 2-1 in Glasgow and very nearly landed a late winner with a stunning volley that flashed just over the crossbar.
“If you see Rabbi on Tuesday night, his first goal for Rangers, that is a real achievement for him and I hope this gets him started,” Dessers said of Matondo. “He is a really good player, he can offer a lot to the team and I hope this is a new beginning and he can keep scoring. It was an unbelievable finish [against PSV] and I thought he was going to score a second one because he hit it really, really well. He can save it for next week.”
Matondo’s goal means that he and all of Rangers forwards – Danilo, Dessers, Sam Lammers, Kemar Roofe and Abdallah Sima – have opened their accounts for the season. A summer signing from Feyenoord, Dessers hopes that the form of the team’s forward players will give manager Michael Beale a welcome headache. “I think that can only be seen as a positive,” continued the Nigerian. “I think all the attackers have scored a goal now this season and we are still in August. That is a massive advantage for us and we should give the manager a headache with this. But it is also a luxury option for him because he can bring in every player and he knows every profile will be dangerous and can be dangerous.”
Dessers is expecting a “similar” game to last week’s encounter at Ibrox at the noisy and partisan Philips Stadion. “I think it will be a pretty similar game,” the striker said. “Maybe they will take a little bit more risk because they play at home and they have to come, they want to come. I know the manager, I know the team, I know what they want. Hopefully we can use that as an advantage as well. The atmosphere will be on fire there as well, like it was at Ibrox. I think Ibrox tops it! I think the players at Rangers are used to the crowd here at Ibrox, they have experience in the Champions League. I know they can handle this crowd as well. We will be ready and we will put in a good performance and hopefully that will be enough for us.”