At the beginning of the season, it looked like Rangers’ had struck gold when bringing in a dynamic central midfielder. However, in recent weeks, Lassana Coulibaly has gone missing.

What’s behind the midfielder’s dramatic drop in form?

Coulibaly dominated midfield battles in the opening weeks of the season. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

It’s always hard to tell from the outside looking in. However, it appears that the confidence he brought with him to Glasgow has temporarily deserted him.

During Europa League qualification and in the opening weeks of the SPL, Coulibaly was bullish. He looked a powerful runner, who was strong in possession. He quickly established himself as a regular, before a minor injury saw him briefly sidelined.

 

Although he returned over a month ago, he seems to be struggling to pick up where he left off. Steven Gerrard clearly still has faith in him, hence his continued inclusion in the starting XI. But the performances just aren’t there and he hasn’t scored since August.

Coulibaly is still maturing as a player

But, the 22-year-old has been off the pace recently. (Photo credit by ALEXANDER NEMENOV/AFP/Getty Images)

Criticised by the fans during the first half at Hearts, he proved ineffectual again against Aberdeen last night. As Rangers chased a goal, he was substituted for Eros Grezda, shortly after half-time.

Perhaps this is why Angers’ were willing to let their man come on loan. Still maturing as a player, long term consistency eludes him. Even helping Mali to African Cup of Nations qualification didn’t inspire an upturn in form.

On loan from Angers, he has a dozen caps for Mali (Photo by Johan Eyckens/Soccrates/Getty Images)

Going forward, it is crucial that he channels the aggression and dynamism which proved so successful in those first weeks. He is a great asset to have when he’s performing, but has become passenger-like of late.

Gerrard needs his man to come good again soon, as the Gers face a challenging December.