Rangers midfielder John Lundstram was perhaps the marquee move of the summer window but fans are now questioning the player’s situation heading into January.
John Lundstram, 27, was signed in the summer on a pre-contract deal by now-former Rangers manager Steven Gerrard after an up-and-down couple of seasons in the Premier League.
🆕 Welcome to #RangersFC, John Lundstram.
— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) July 5, 2021
Rewind two campaigns ago and Lundstram was a potent, box-to-box option for Chris Wilder’s Sheffield United side, scoring goals and powerfully commanding midfields across the English top flight.
Fast forward a season later, and the contract saga which would bring him to Ibrox hung over him like a bad cloud as the Blades went crashing into the Championship.
However, when Rangers announced the signing of the midfielder, there was huge optimism regarding the deal.
John Lundstram Rangers spell has been a mixed bag
This is a former England youth international who has just played two years at amongst the highest domestic levels in football and entering the prime of his career. It was a coup.
But things did not start as planned for Lundstram who admitted himself there was an adjustment period regarding his role in the side as he went from relegation fodder to title winners.
There were some horror shows – the Europa League Playoff against Alashkert at Ibrox the worst amongst them as Lundstram saw red for two yellows – and the jury was very much out.
But then John battled back and became a stand-out performer for Rangers during a stuffy period of the season where the team struggled to get going and which ultimately culminated in the exit of the man who’d convinced him to sign on in Glasgow.
Now, under the tutelage of Giovanni van Bronckhorst, Lundstram finds himself in a different Ibrox environment and on uncertain ground.
John Lundstram hasn’t broke into Rangers starting line-up under GVB
Lundstram – an expensive addition to the wage budget if rumours are to be believed and common sense applied – was a Gerrard and Wilson move and like everyone in the squad, will need to convince the new manager of his place.
So far opportunities have been limited, although Lunny was praised by Gio in the aftermath of the 1-0 win over Hibs after his late substitution brought stability to a team edging out the victory.
Lundstram also made a very late substitute appearance in the 2-0 win over Sparta and his reduced playing time has given rise to much chatter surrounding John’s status in the side.
Lundstram will also be expected to fill one of two slots in the midfield that are increasingly competitive with a blend of Steven Davis, Scott Arfield and Glen Kamara occupying them in the manager’s first four games.
Ryan Jack – returning from a long-term injury lay-off – also needs minutes to continue his comeback.
It means that opportunities may well be at a premium for Lundstram and whilst fans fill the void with chatter about his situation taking whatever limited chances come his way must be the focus.
John did well to come on and catch the manager’s eye in the victory over Hibs but his future might depend on forcing his way into the starting XI in the weeks to come.
Whilst John Lundstram still has some winning over the Rangers fans to do, another Scottish Premiership midfielder has just claimed the Ibrox side are interested.