The faces and the names in the Rangers midfield have changed. So have the roles and the responsibilities as Michael Beale has reworked his blueprint at Ibrox.

The arrivals of Todd Cantwell and Nicolas Raskin during the January transfer window were the first steps in a new direction for Rangers. Since then, Kieran Dowell and Jose Cifuentes have been recruited and Ianis Hagi has returned from injury.

Beale now has options – both in terms of personnel and approach – for almost every situation and he can mix and match a variety of combinations to suit as Rangers target domestic silverware and European achievement during his first full term at Ibrox.

The Herald: Rangers boss Michael Beale

The latest piece of the jigsaw was slotted in for the first time on Wednesday night as Cifuentes made his debut against Servette. He had been given a taste of Scottish football during the defeat to Kilmarnock and a 13-minute cameo in the Champions League allowed fans the chance to cast their eye over him.

It would have been understandable if Beale had sought to gently ease the Ecuadorian into action as he settles into life in a new country and as part of a new side. That is not the case, though, and Cifuentes will be given his first start when Rangers host Livingston this afternoon.

“I want more power in our No.8 positions,” Beale said. “I want people to run forward from those positions.

“This is not the Rangers team that we built previously when the midfielders covered in other areas, I want them to run forward.

READ MORE: Ibrox boss Michael Beale targets Ryan Kent Rangers replacement deal

“We saw that a little bit more in midweek, I moved Nico there because I felt he has that energy.

“Jose still hadn’t really trained with the group. He didn’t train until Friday of last week, he had a bit of jetlag and I just put him in the squad so he could get a feel for the stadium and a feel for Scottish football.

“I feel he’s a lot more settled this week. I thought he had a good cameo when he came on the other night so he will come in. He’s powerful and he can run forward from that area. 

“Kieran gives us that as well. Maybe previously we were used to a Glen Kamara or a Ryan Jack sitting in those areas.

“But I don’t want that. I want people to run forward and I thought Todd and Nico did that well in midweek. In that area he also crosses the ball as well as someone like Tavernier.

“It’s an interesting position where he plays, if he gets up the pitch he can be quite spiteful with his passing.”

Cifuentes put pen-to-paper on a long-term deal at Ibrox after Rangers won the race for his signature and then finalised an arrangement with Los Angeles FC to sign the midfielder sooner rather than later.

The opening weeks of the campaign will see Beale’s new-look side steadily move through the gears as the time on the training pitch and competitive minutes are put to good to use to raise intensity levels and fine tune their style.

Cifuentes is in a different situation, though. With months of action under his belt, he is now ready to hit the ground running and make his mark at Ibrox.

“He has been playing, but the MLS is different,” Beale said. “The easiest place for him to play right now would be at Ibrox.

“It’s our home stadium and the pitch is a certain way. I’ve got no doubts he can settle in and be a strong player for us.

READ MORE: Kieran Dowell reveals Rangers hero Mike Arteta was his Everton idol

“Jose was a really, really important signing. It was impressive the way we sat down with him and sold what we can do for him and he can do for us because there were a lot of people looking at him.”

Cifuentes has arrived in Glasgow with a burgeoning reputation. He was picked out as one of the rising stars at the Under-20 World Cup in Poland four years ago and helped LAFC lift the Supporters’ Shield and MLS Cup after viewing America as his ideal destination.

He ticks several boxes for Rangers in both football and financial senses. Yet it is his ability to get from box to box that could make him an integral part of Beale’s side this season.

Beale said: “If you are athletic enough at centre-half and have someone like Nico Raskin or Ryan Jack or John Lundstram sitting there with them, then that allows people like Todd, Kieran, Jose, Ianis, Tom Lawrence when he’s back in the next few weeks to be really able to get forward in those attacking midfield positions. To get in the box and score goals.

The Herald: Ryan Jack in training

“That’s what we’re looking for. We had a goalscoring midfielder in Scott Arfield, who we didn’t renew the contract.

“He did a wonderful job for us. Now these guys have to take that mantle on and I have a lot of faith they will.”

The visit of Livingston this afternoon will be followed by the trip to Geneva as Rangers aim to progress to the Champions League play-off round and move within one tie of the group stages.

A Viaplay Cup fixture with Morton is on the schedule next weekend and crucial Premiership clashes against Ross County and Celtic could shape Beale’s aspirations, even at this early stage.

READ MORE: Manchester United eye summer move for Rangers keeper Robby McCrorie

The Englishman is still searching for the perfect blend from his side. Once Rangers click from middle to front, he is confident the results and performances will follow.

“We have a lot of technically very good players but we only play with one football,” Beale said. “It’s important we learn to share it and play together very quickly.

“It’s the variety, the unexpected bits we need to give problems to teams. Todd at times does things the other team don’t expect. He will break past the line or pass and follow.

“He has a good variety. Ianis and Tom have those qualities. It’s important these guys get up to speed quickly with the new forwards. 

“I think it will be very potent. My frustration sat here today is that we didn’t score two or three more goals in a Champions League game where we already scored two. That’s a good sign for me.”