Rarely in recent memory has a signing fostered excitement at Ibrox quite like Danilo’s.

On Friday, the 24-year-old became Michael Beale’s eighth summer arrival before a competitive ball has been kicked. The manager spoke of “the biggest rebuild in a number of years” late last season and has delivered on that promise, with Jose Cifuentes’ move from LAFC also imminent.

Danilo’s arrival epitomises the blend of anticipation and investment Beale hoped this summer would represent. His profile, a Brazillian No.9 with a strong track record in the Eredivisie featuring two league titles, captures the imagination. Spells with Ajax, Feyenoord and FC Twente precede his move to Glasgow.

Even if another addition in the defence still feels necessary, last season's attacking options represented the staleness that engulfed Rangers’ 2022/23 and it’s no coincidence this summer’s business has prioritised reinventing that area.

So, the Rangers Review caught up with someone who’s better placed than most to offer an insight into Danilo’s game, his former FC Twente manager Ron Jans.

Danilo’s breakthrough as a player came at Twente in the 2020/21 season. Having arrived at Ajax two years earlier and excelled in their second team, Jong Ajax, it was a loan spell under Jans’ tutelage that would announce his potential as a player.

“Danilo came quite late in August, I think two or three weeks after the season started. It was the season after the Covid-19 outbreak and from day one he was our missing piece,” Jans says.

“We were building a new team with a lot of new players, a lot of loan deals like Danilo. The first half of the season we were pressing high and so efficient at winning the ball with the press, before scoring within a few seconds. A lot of goals were made in this way by Danilo.

“As a player, he has the ability to be so quiet in the box and around it, but he always knows where the goalkeeper is. Sometimes you can think ‘What is he trying now’ but his finishing can be so good. That first half of the season, I think it was his best period in Holland. As a person he is always cheerful, a funny guy, he was still young in his behaviour so as a professional he had to learn but I think he’s matured now. That first season at Twente was amazing.”

Ever since Beale arrived at Ibrox he’s prioritised playing with two No.9s, increasing the profile of goalscorers in any given starting 11. Danilo is not limited to adding the final touches onto moves, capable of linking play, creating for others and defending from the front. Importantly, however, he is first a striker by any measure.

The Brazilian's first assignment at Ibrox will be goals, often working within limited space up against compact defences. Rangers have not signed a player who relies on transition moments but someone capable of finding the yard others can’t, a natural goalscorer with a wide skillset.

“Around the box, you have less time given the number of opponents but with Danilo you can play very good football. He’s not necessarily a one-on-one player, preferring to link play quickly with his first touch or take shots,” Jans continues.

“Danilo prefers placement over power when it comes to shooting and he’s relatively strong on his left side too. At FC Twente, he didn’t have much of an opportunity to showcase his heading ability but that too isn’t bad considering his size.

“He can find the gaps between defenders, whether that be behind a defence or between the full-back and centre-back. Danilo is very clever in his positioning and at his best when he’s attacking these spaces.”

The pre-season goals that baited the Rangers support before Danilo's arrival were true to Jans’ judgement with placed, often curled, finishes pre-empting his signing.

Last season at Feyenoord featured plenty of examples of the attributes described. 

Take this goal against Sturm Graz. Danilo peels off the front and plays a first-time pass, allowing his side to break through the lines and work a dangerous crossing opportunity.

As Feyenoord work an overload on the far side and prepare to cross the ball, notice Danilo’s shift of weight, propelling himself backwards into the space he’s created having dragged the defence close to the touchline.

Or, take this strike against Volendam. Danilo offers a passing option through the pitch but as possession is worked wide, attacks the box. Moving towards the back stick with a 'quiet' arrival that creates an excellent shooting opportunity.

The attacker’s shot map from the 2020/21 season at Twente is attached below. With 12 goals from 12.8xG (not including six penalties), the forward was finishing at an expected rate. Notice the cluster of efforts around the penalty spot, the area Jans highlights as his most dangerous.

Following that impressive spell at Twente, Danilo returned to Ajax and saw consistent gametime hard to come by, competing with Sebastian Haller for a starting slot. Featuring 13 times in the Eredivisie, scoring four in a cup game against lowly Excelsior Maassluis but never truly cementing a place.

READ MORE: Here's how Michael Beale has changed Rangers' front 3 to accommodate two No.9s

A move to Feyenoord in the summer of 2022 would follow. Although the second half of Danilo’s season was largely spent arriving from the bench, during the first number of months he kept highly-rated 22-year-old Mexican international Santiago Gimenez out of the starting 11.

“In his year at Feyenoord he started as the No.1 striker in a tremendous season,” Jans continues.

“Gimenez was behind him and it was all because of Danilo's better understanding of the press and the intensity of the press. He knows how to carry out tactical instructions and with Rangers attacking a lot, will fit in perfectly.”

Take a look at Danilo’s StatsBomb radar from that season. The percentile ratings compare his metrics against other forwards in the division and it goes without saying, the higher the better.

What is this showing you?

Clearly, Danilo’s xG, touches in the box and shots all averaged high over the course of last season. So too did the number of pressures he was attempting, and the amount of regains achieved as a result of those efforts.

When Michael Beale spoke to the media after his side’s 2-1 pre-season win over Hamburg, with Danilo the pressing topic, he referenced a “change of energy and work ethic in the front line” when discussing those already brought in to strengthen the attack; Sam Lammers, Cyriel Dessers and Abdallah Sima.

No area of the pitch required surgery quite like the attack this summer. Fashion Sakala, not always a player who connotes consistency, was Beale’s most consistent attacking option after arriving in November, spare Malik Tillman and Todd Cantwell.

Yes, especially in deciding moments and deciding matches, Rangers lacked those able to score and create in the front line. Moreover, they lacked energy, enthusiasm and vigour in all aspects of play. It was telling that when Beale chose to criticise Alfredo Morelos last season it was often the “energy” he brought on the pitch that was highlighted.

When Neil Banfield, one of Beale’s assistants, spoke exclusively to the Rangers Review last season he emphasised the vitality of off-ball work to the manager’s philosophy, saying: “It’s steel with style, that’s what Michael says and that’s what he wants his team to look like.”

Simply put, for Beale’s style of football in possession to work, Rangers’ high line and narrow pressing shape is crucial. And for that to come off, he needs excellent, energetic pressers in the first line. To either disrupt the opposition with energy or dictate where they can play by closing off the pitch by pressing at certain angles. 

There are numerous examples of Danilo’s strength as a presser littered throughout last season. Take this goal on the opening day against Vitesse. Danilo is able to create a goal from nothing given the angles and intensity of his press.

“There was a goal when we played away at Willem II, they lost the ball and with one pass, we passed to Danilo to score. He is so comfortable, confident and quiet in his mind, he finished in a really good way and we made several goals like that over ths season,” Jans adds.

“Also, we played away against Feyenoord and the goal he made there, it is typical Danilo."

Let’s take a closer look at either strike. As Willem play out from the back in the first example, Danilo is pressing from behind their defensive midfielder, to close off the right side of the pitch and force a pass down the left, where his side can regain the ball.

Danilo’s already set off in the below frame after the regain, paving a way through the defence before finishing with composure.

Here’s the other Twente strike Jans mentions, this time away at Feyenoord. After the visitors lose the ball, they press aggressively with Danilo remaining close to his teammate. When play is regained his speed of thought allows a first-time flick to provide an assist.

Danilo notched nine open-play Eredivisie goals in 16.1 90 minutes last season, 0.55 goals per 90.

That total featured a range of strikes from glanced headers to scrappy six-yard finishes and eye-catching strikes from a distance.

For this goal against Emmen, as play is switched following a corner, watch Danilo’s movement to head home, running in the blindside of his marker to attack a gap between full-back and centre-back.

A number of the striker's goals came from simply occupying the six-yard zone and benefitting from a failed clearance or intelligent movement, exactly the type of strike Rangers have not scored in recent seasons.

This particular finish against PSV is a fine example of the type of situation a poacher can benefit from over the course of a season.

And there’s been a fair scent of the spectacular too, like this long-ranged effort against AZ Alkmaar. 

Upon confirmation of Danilo’s transfer, Beale referenced the player’s part in getting this move over the line.

“Danilo really wanted this move and has a strong belief in the plan that we have for him and for the team moving forward - this was key in the negotiations as he really pushed to join Rangers.”

For Jans, the player he saw thrive as a youngster at Twente, having played a big part in Feyenoord's Eredivisie win, is ready to play centre stage at Ibrox.

“I believe in evolution and I think coming from Brazil to Holland was a good step,” he continues.

“At Ajax, he didn’t get enough minutes at the highest level so a step to Twente was perfect before Feyenoord. Now I think he is ready for the next step. I think this will be a very positive transfer for Rangers. I think he will do very well."

Danilo will be expected to make a big impact, that's the reality of arriving to the sound of expectation. 

Beale will trust that the Brazilian can be his "quiet" but effective guarantor of goals, who successfully spearheads the Rangers rebuild.