The Canadian international Scott Arfield has been one of the most astute signings of Steven Gerrard’s era as the Rangers manager. The versatile midfielder joined the club on a free transfer last summer. Gerrard relied heavily on him as he had previous Premier League experience with Burnley. Arfield emerged as one of the mainstays in Rangers’ setup as he played in 46 games across all competitions last season and contributed with an impressive tally of 12 goals and seven assists.
However, the 31-year-old has been in and out of the team so far this season, and he hasn’t churned up with top performances. Gerrard recently indicated that the midfielder might be going through some personal issues, but he has the full backing of the manager.
Gerrard defends Arfield
Gerrard defended Arfield recently and said (Daily Record), ”In terms of form, Scott will be the first to admit that he’s maybe not hit the heights of last season. Scott is one that we trust. We’ll stay with him and keep believing that he’ll get back to his best form. He’s had a situation off the field rumbling on, that he’s had for a few weeks and is his private business.”
“That’s up to him whether he divulges that or not. He’s had a tough few weeks. But he’s still very much part of our plans, and I really appreciate what he’s given us since he came through the door, on and off the pitch.”
Is Arfield a crucial player for Gerrard?
Gerrard has used Arfield in various roles since the start of last season. He has used him as a central midfielder, an attacking midfielder and on both the flanks as a winger when required. When the 31-year-old starts as a winger, he often tends to drift inside into central areas instead of providing the usual width. The fullback then provides the width and Arfield tries to occupy spaces between the opposition’s fullback and defender.
Tactically, Arfield is one of the most reliable players in Gerrard’s setup. He is someone like James Milner, put him anywhere on the pitch, and he will do a job for you. Arfield’s work rate, energy and tenacity help Rangers to press from the top. On the ball, the midfielder can produce that moment of quality to open up a rigid defence, and he also pops in with a few crucial goals from time to time.
Hopefully, the Canadian midfielder will soon get back to his best form with the busy phase of the season starting soon. Gerrard is trying to protect the player and give an indication to the fans that sometimes personal issues can bog down a professional player. Rangers have the depth and the quality in their squad to compete on all fronts, so Arfield can take his time before he gets back to his best.
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