When Michael Beale spoke to the press for the first time after unveiling Nico Raskin as a Rangers player, he was keen to bust some myths.

“Raskin is not a tough man. He’s not a tackler, he’s a technical player like Glen [Kamara],” the manager said.

“He’ll intercept and run hard but he’s not a little Rottweiler. He can play as a No.6 or an 8, can dribble with the ball and has a good passing range.”

Beale wanted to reiterate that although Raskin was strong off the ball, he wasn’t necessarily being signed because of that standout quality, or purchased to only occupy one position. Instead, it was the marrying up of his off-ball qualities with the technical ability to match that made Raskin’s signature such an appealing one.

Beale’s Rangers play in a recognisable style while still possessing plenty of variation. Their build-up shape is flexible, front three make-up often alters while the shape off the ball can be tweaked as well. Therefore, players must be able to fulfil different roles and positions – to offer hybrid solutions.

Heading into the summer recruiting this profile of player, capable of occupying different positions on the pitch and comfortable in a variety of different scenarios game-to-game, is vital.

“I like the forwards not to be one position but interchange and move around and have a lot of freedom,” Beale explained recently on the topic of strikers.

“Whenever we have done well in Europe, every player takes part in all aspects of the game and that is the big thing.”

Raskin affords the manager this luxury on a micro and macro level. When starting at the base of midfield after winning the ball, he’s capable of moving into the next phase and spearheading an attack. Not limited to his ball-winning qualities and dependent on others to complete the next stage of play.

His press resistance and one-on-one ability enables him to drive beyond opponents and commit men in the centre of the pitch, retaining possession under most circumstances.

The former Standard Liege man is capable of playing high in the midfield as a No.8 one week and then starting as its deepest member in an Old Firm.

READ MORE: What it's like to manage Nico Raskin - 'He brings fire to games on his own'

Simply put, he doesn't have to be No.6 or a No.8 and that’s a positive. He can play as either, depending on the circumstance. 

The desire to label each player and shoehorn them into one set position doesn’t match up with the football Beale’s introducing at Ibrox. Which is by its very nature designed to be fluid, flexible and with a healthy dose of positional freedom in the opposition half.

It’s a very similar situation to Beale’s other January arrival Todd Cantwell. Another hybrid player as comfortable picking the ball up off the centre-backs as he is running beyond the striker. In the final few days of this season we saw the 25-year-old playing at the tip of the midfield against Hearts and its base three days later away at St Mirren.

As the Rangers Review wrote recently on a similar note to this conversation, Cantwell doesn’t need a best position. It’s more helpful to consider his best role – which is right at the heart of the team.

If that’s a game with space on offer, Cantwell can thrive at No.10 leading the attack and the press. If the requirement is to break down a low block, he’s able to connect the defence to the attack and conduct play deeper in the pitch.

John Lundstram, who’s been a mainstay for Beale, played as a pressing No.8 for the majority of the split, making seam runs behind the opposition’s defensive line, and ended it at centre-back next to John Souttar, as his side’s last man out of possession.

Fashion Sakala has been a goalscorer in transition from the left and more of a creative outlet on the right. Again, not only offering one dimension in his play.

Raskin has, on the eye and according to the numbers, thrived out of possession. Only Malik Tillman averaged a higher possession-adjusted pressure total in the squad this season and no player in the team recorded a better average of regains from those moments.

But, crucially as Beale stressed at the start of his Rangers career, he is not just a tough man and tackler.

The reason Raskin has adapted so quickly and should enjoy a breakthrough season after summer is because of his hybrid profile, capable of winning possession or breaking lines, a ball winner as well as a ball progressor.

As Beale seeks to build his new Rangers, expect more of the same. Players capable of multiple roles, not limited by the restrictions of a label.