With Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s Glasgow Rangers side heading into Thursday evening’s Europe League clash with Lyon knowing that they could not improve on their second-placed standing in Group A, many had dismissed the fixture as a dead rubber.
However, for a number of Gers’ peripheral first-team players who were handed a start at the Groupama Stadium, the match was very much an opportunity to impress their new manager, something which many of them grasped with both hands.
Indeed, the likes of Scott Wright, Jon McLaughlin and John Lundstram all highly impressed in the fixture, however, it was the latter of this trio whose performance will have caught Van Bronckhorst’s eye the most in the 1-1 draw with the Ligue 1 side.
While Lundstram has somewhat struggled to hold down a starting place in the Rangers side since his summer move from Sheffield United, the 27-year-old central midfielder’s display against Lyon will have undoubtedly given Van Bronckhorst some food for thought ahead of Gers’ upcoming Premiership clash against third-placed Hearts this weekend.
Indeed, over his 90 minutes on the pitch, the £6.3m-rated man enjoyed 78 touches of the ball, completed 56 passes – one of which was key – found his man with seven of his nine attempted long balls and successfully completed his one dribble.
The player, who Chris Wilder dubbed an “exemplary” professional, also made a whopping four tackles, one interception and won seven of his eight attempted duels – a success rate of 88%.
As such, while a number of Gers’ players impressed after being handed a start by Dutch manager, with both Ryan Kent and Kemar Roofe also turning in admirable displays, it was undoubtedly Lundstram who shone the brightest against Lyon, with the midfielder’s display surely increasing his chances of starting once again at Tynecastle this weekend.