Sunday, July 3, 2022

‘Rangers Are Getting The Rewards Now’: Former Boss Opens Up On Failed Winter Move For Midfield Ace

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Pratyay Maitra
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Rangers might have fallen behind Celtic in the Premiership race, but their form in Europe deserves accolades. They have eliminated mighty Borussia Dortmund from the Europa League, thanks to a stellar show from Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s juggernaut. John Lundstram, in particular, has been a revelation of late and the Light Blues are lucky to have him in their ranks despite the rumours of a potential winter reunion with Chris Wilder south of the border.

“I thought about going for John again in January when he wasn’t playing. There would have been many admirers down here trying to get him back. But he’s been patient, he’s back in the team and both John and Rangers are getting the rewards now.”

Wilder sid to the Sunday Mail in a recent interview.

The former Sheffield United star joined the Gers back in summer on a Bosman, but he failed to hit the ground running instantly in Scottish football. Steven Gerrard used him sporadically before parting ways for the Aston Villa job and Van Bronckhorst, too, handed Lundstram a bit-part role in the middle of the park.

How The New Role Has Helped Lundstram Settle In Rangers Midfield

However, the Englishman settled in with time when utilized as a double pivot. He is now the driving force with his pace, power-packed runs and mobility, and the gaffer also deployed him as a makeshift centre-back against Motherwell to explore his versatility.

Rangers midfielder John Lundstram in action
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND – FEBRUARY 24: John Lundstram of rangers is seen during the UEFA Europa League Knockout Round Play-Offs Leg Two match between Rangers FC and Borussia Dortmund at Ibrox Stadium on February 24, 2022 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images). The 4th Official uses images provided by the following image agency: Getty Images (https://www.gettyimages.de/) and Imago Images (https://www.imago-images.de/).

Wilder had a successful stint at Sheffield United with Lundstram being his key warrior in the centre of the pitch and the ex-Blades boss wanted him at Middlesbrough. But the midfielder decided to give it another shot which has worked stupendously in Rangers‘ favour.

Despite being well equipped in midfield, the Light Blues roped in Aaron Ramsey and James Sands during the winter window. None of them has lived up to expectations, instead, it’s been Ryan Jack and Lundstram who are orchestrating the show as deep-lying playmakers. Glen Kamara’s first-team status has been jeopardized, but the Finnish ace is likely to be rotated with Jack for the remainder of the ongoing term. The Scotsman had several injury nightmares in the recent past and his minutes, therefore, must be managed minutely to avoid further setbacks.

Lundstram, meanwhile, is now arguably the first name in the teamsheet among the central midfield options and Rangers would want this to continue to meet their season goals.

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