Glasgow Rangers seem to have weathered the storm following their Scottish League Cup exit after hosting Celtic at Ibrox in the Premiership on Saturday afternoon.
It’s safe to say that Steven Gerrard’s stint in charge of the 54-time Scottish champions has been a rollercoaster of a ride so far. From the highs of the Europa League to the lows of suffering the ignominy of being dumped out of the Betfred Cup by Premiership rivals St. Mirren, it’s not all been plain sailing for the Liverpool legend.
Rangers embarked on a remarkable run of form, going 10 consecutive domestic games unbeaten, before they were stopped in their tracks by Jim Goodwin’s side, who was sent off for his over-exuberant celebrations.
But the Light Blues bounced back with back-to-back victories over Hibs and Saints, which set them up nicely for the second Old Firm derby of the season.
There have been some early warning signs for Gerrard, however, as new summer recruit Bongani Zungu has struggled to hit the ground running for various reasons. The South African midfielder has still yet to score or provide an assist since his arrival at the club, which does raise the question – did Ross Wilson make a rare mistake?
However, if the Rangers chief had played his cards right in the summer, they could have had their hands on an unbelievable bargain at Ibrox right now.
Gerrard has set his sights on an advanced playmaker in the shape of Preston North End’s Daniel Johnson but the Gers failed to sign him in the summer. Back in September, The Daily Record reported Johnson was still of interest to Rangers, having entered the final year of his current deal at Deepdale.
He stayed with the Lilywhites in the end instead and after a shaky start to the season, has been a nightmare to behold in the Championship, bagging three times and three assists in 16 outings so far, via Transfermarkt. That’s more goals than Zungu has managed in the past three seasons combined.
It’s no wonder, then, that former teammates like Chris Humphrey reckon he is one of the best they have ever played with, with the former Motherwell star saying “his all-round game is phenomenal.”
Zungu is still adjusting to life in the Premiership after an injury-disrupted campaign and despite the option-to-buy clause in his contract, it feels like it’s too soon for the Ibrox boss to make such a tough decision. He may have actually been better suited to buying Johnson instead.
With the £3.6m-rated 28-year-old in the last six months of his current deal, it’s only a matter of time before suitors start to circle once again, as contract talks have reportedly reached an impasse between the club and his representatives.
AND in other news, Steven Gerrard has been dealt a huge injury blow at Rangers…