Steven Gerrard finally got what he wanted all along when Rangers signed Amiens midfielder Bongani Zungu on a season-long loan, and it looks like he may be in luck…
Zungu, 27, says it is clear that he is not part of South Africa coach Molefi Ntseki’s plans for the future, via Goal.
The 29-cap South Africa international was snubbed for the international friendlies against Namibia and Zambia which are taking place this week.
Speaking to The Daily Sun, Zungu said “for me it’s clear. I’m not part of his vision, part of his plans.
“Perhaps I’m not good enough for his team. There are no hard feelings. I get the message and I respect it.
“So, I won’t focus my energies on that. I’m going to focus on my new team and in the coach that believes in me.”
After arriving at Rangers on loan from the Ligue 2 side, the former Mamelodi Sundowns midfielder admitted he is very excited at the prospect of playing in the Europa League.
He told the club’s official website he wants fans to be proud of his performances.
Zungu could make his debut in the upcoming Old Firm derby, otherwise known as the Glasgow derby, when Rangers travel to Celtic Park to take on the defending Scottish Premiership champions.
Gerrard could be expected to ring the changes with the Gers starting their Europa League group stage campaign just days later.
The Rangers boss recently described him as a “dominant” midfielder who “fits the profile of player that adds further strength and depth to our midfield” while Amiens official John Williams added “his skill level is very high. He is a hard worker and technically good. He can do everything.”
Last season, Zungu made 21 appearances in Ligue 1 for Amiens, whilst he averaged 1.3 tackles, at least 1 clearance and 1 big chance created per game, as per SofaScore, which implies he was a wrecking ball all over the pitch.
Standing at 6 ft tall, he is hardly a freak of nature, but if you take a look at his heatmaps last term, you can clearly see that he is more than capable of holding his own in the middle, which is exactly what Gerrard has been missing.
Ntseki insisted he had decided to drop Zungu to give him a rest, as he has only recently returned from injury, and this will allow him to rest and recuperate, so he should be fully fit and firing on all cylinders in time to face Celtic.
Gerrard is hardly short of options in the midfield, as Glen Kamara, Scott Arfield, Steven Davis and Ryan Jack have all performed to a reasonable standard, but the South African has an extra dimension to his game.
Most importantly, unlike the rest of his competitors, he can provide a cutting edge going forward, with a tenacious, hard-working attitude.
Therefore, the Gers stand to benefit the most from the international break.