'Don't let his looks fool you': Valakari delivers verdict on new Rangers signing
By Matt Farr
Ex-Motherwell star Simo Valakari has urged the Rangers players not to get on the wrong side of new recruit Jonatan Johansson.
The former Rangers striker, 41, was announced as the new assistant coach to Pedro Caixinha earlier this week, having impressed during an interview at Ibrox.
But Valakari has issued a stark reminder to the Rangers squad that looks can be deceiving, insisting that Johansson is not in any way ‘soft.’
Speaking to the Scottish Sun, Valakari said: “I know that JJ still looks about 25. He’s always had that baby-faced look about him – even when we were team-mates in the Finnish national squad.
“But people should not think he is in any way soft. Don’t let his looks fool you. He’s a very nice guy, of course. But he played for Rangers in Scotland, and for Charlton in the Premier League. He has more than 100 caps for Finland.
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“Do you think he would have done that in his career if he didn’t have toughness about him – mentally or physically? To play at the kinds of levels he has you need to have something about you.”
Johansson is understood to have pipped the likes of Barry Ferguson and Alex Rae to the vacant Rangers No.3 post, with Caixinha narrowing his search to club favourites.
Caixinha arrived at the club last month as the long-term successor to Mark Warburton, and has gone unbeaten fro his four games in charge.
His Ibrox tenure began with a comfortable 4-0 win over Hamilton, before draws against both Kilmarnock and Motherwell, and a 3-0 win over rivals Aberdeen a week ago.
Rangers will look to embark upon a new era at the club under the combined stewardship of Caixinha and Johansson next season, and regain their place alongside rivals Celtic at the top of the pyramid.
In other Rangers news, Jimmy Calderwood has delivered his verdict on this reported Rangers transfer target.