According to The Daily Record, Bongani Zungu is set to start when Glasgow Rangers travel to take on Lech Poznan in the Europa League on Thursday night, but Steven Gerrard should think about deploying him in the No. 10 role instead.
Despite arriving at Ibrox from Amiens on an initial loan deal on transfer deadline day, the 28-year-old has started just once so far this season in the 4-0 win over Falkirk in the Betfred Cup, and Gerrard confirmed he was impressed with what he saw from the South Africa international in a deep-lying midfield role.
However, the Ibrox boss may be better served starting the Bafana-Bafana midfielder as an advanced playmaker instead. Steven Davis would be the favourite to start in that position, but he will most likely be rested for the game against Lech Poznan, which means there will be big boots left to fill.
Ianis Hagi may be pushing for a recall, with Gerrard deploying the 22-year-old as an attacking midfielder against Falkirk, but Zungu could arguably do a better job against Dariusz Żuraw’s side.
Whilst Hagi tried his best to impress during the game against the Scottish League One leaders, he doesn’t necessarily have the guile nor the experience to impose himself as the first-choice No. 10 for Rangers quite just yet.
On the other hand, despite primarily playing as a defensive central midfielder, Zungu has shown that he is fully capable of playing in an offensive role too on a handful of occasions.
WhoScored lists some of his key strengths as his ability to shoot from distance and his high levels of concentration, which is more than can be said for Hagi, who has often been accused of crumbling under pressure.
The Ibrox boss recently described Zungu as a “dominant” midfielder, telling the club’s website: “Bongani fits the profile of player that adds further strength and depth to our midfield.”
He added “we wanted a dominant midfielder with the right profile who can enhance the team and compliment other players we have.”
Gerrard is hardly short of options in the midfield, which means that he should be in contention to start behind either Alfredo Morelos or Kemar Roofe, whilst there is little doubt he may be better suited to sitting in a a free role between the midfield and the forwards.
With Ryan Jack ruled out as he works his way back to fitness, his versatility could be an added bonus.
AND in other news, Glasgow Rangers must cash in on Brandon Barker in January…