In September, Steven Gerrard gave a clear indication (The Scotsman) that he would like to sign the loan quartet of Lassana Coulibaly, Ovie Ejaria, Ryan Kent and Joe Worrall on a permanent basis. However, after Coulibaly’s performances in the past two months, we think the club should think twice before going in for the Angers loanee.
The midfielder played a crucial role in the initial part of the season and was an integral member of the playing eleven. However, ever since his comeback from injury, he hasn’t been the same and the 22-year-old is struggling big time at the moment.
Whether it is on the ball or defensively, Coulibaly doesn’t seem to be concentrating enough during games. He is often being nicked out of possession when the oppositions press him, and his ball playing abilities are not going to instil confidence in the manager. The industrious youngster was one of the fan favourites in the initial month but it seems clear now why Angers allowed him to leave in the summer given his inconsistency.
Now one cannot even make the case of him being rushed into football quickly from injury as it’s been some time now that he has been available and has been playing regularly. With so many options in midfield, we might see Coulibaly being dropped in the upcoming games and someone like Ross McCrorie might have a chance to impress the manager.
Greg Docherty who is on loan currently might lay a claim to a place in midfield in the future as well. Therefore, Gerrard should probably wait and see Coulibaly’s performance until the end of the season before making a permanent move for him.
The Malian midfielder has been part of 18 games in all competitions and has contributed with two goals and two assists so far. However, on current form, he could and should be dropped from the first eleven. Hopefully, from Rangers’ point of view, he will get back to his best soon as he really looked like some player in the initial months. Whether it was his work rate, or winning back possession or setting up a base for an attack, the 22-year-old seemed to have everything in his game.
Rangers are definitely challenging Celtic this season for the title and they would need every bit of help from Coulibaly to carry on in the race. With Europa League qualifications also in the club’s hand, players will need to step up big time in the next few games and the team cannot afford to carry on with an out of form player who is probably getting selected based on the reputation of his performances in the first month.
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