Scott Arfield was supposed to be one of the best signings of the summer as he was coming from a Premier League outfit Burnley where he was still a crucial member in their setup. Sean Dyche did not extend his contract, and that allowed the Canadian international to leave for free. Maybe some Premier League or Championship clubs could have gone for him, but the Gers wrapped the deal for the 29-year-old midfielder early.
However, he hasn’t been that influential as one would have wanted from the Rangers point of view. Arfield prefers to operate from the left side of midfield and Gerrard often played him in a more central role or even just behind the striker in some games. The former Scottish u-21 international was found wanting on some occasions, but he seems to be getting better in the new role in central midfield.
Against Dundee, he was one of the best players on the pitch as the Canadian did everything which is required from a top midfielder. He always tried to move the ball forward instead of just looking for simpler passes and to go with that, the 29-year-old was industrious in his approach and broke up play quite often. The midfielder called the shots and controlled the tempo of the game and one could say the performance was worthy of Man of the Match even though he didn’t manage to score any of the four goals.
Maybe now he is slowly settling down in a new team and new role. The game against Dundee demonstrated why he was signed in the first place. It’s true he would have sterner tests up ahead especially in the next game where the Gers travel to Spain to take on Villareal in the opening encounter of the Europa League, but the midfielder is starting to show signs of his capabilities.
With the likes of Ryan Jack, Ovie Ejaria, Jordan Rossiter, Graham Dorrans and Ross McRorie as options in midfield, there seems to be a healthy competition and that in turn would help the first team starters realise that they cannot take their starting place for granted. So Arfield would need to be on top of his game every time he takes the field
The Light Blues would hope that he can continue this form throughout the season as they have lacked an experienced head in midfield for quite some time now. Arfield and Lassana Coulibaly could be the perfect partnership in central areas. Ryan Jack missed the encounter against Dundee due to a calf strain but he was hardly missed, and that would make Gerrard feel satisfied, as he has plenty of options fighting for a place in midfield. However, an on-song Arfield would make the playing eleven over the others, and his experience of appearing in over 100 games in the Premier League would also come in handy.
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