Bongani Zungu looks unlikely to win a permanent deal at Rangers at the end of the season amid continued selection snubs and the club’s pre-contract signing of Bournemouth midfielder Nnamdi Ofoborh.
Zungu joined the Gers on loan from Ligue 1 side Amiens on the final day of the extended summer transfer window in early October [Rangers.co.uk].
There was plenty of hype around the signing, with the player himself confident that he had plenty to offer Steven Gerrard.
However, things haven’t really worked out so far.
The South Africa international was forced to isolate for a fortnight after his arrival in the country which ensured that when he did eventually join up with the group, he took a while to get up to speed.
Since making his debut against Hamilton at Ibrox in November, he’s turned out 14 times for the Gers.
However, only three of Zungu’s appearances have come from the start and he’s yet to get the nod in the XI for a Premiership fixture.
The 28-year-old impressed in a Europa League outing against Lech Poznan and has shown glimpses of quality elsewhere.
Yet, he hasn’t quite been dynamic enough on the handful of occasions he’s been handed a genuine opportunity and he was left on the bench for Rangers’ 1-0 win over St Johnstone on Wednesday night.
He is clearly behind the likes of Steven Davis and Ryan Jack in the pecking order and it’s highly unlikely that Rangers’ will fork out the reported £2.7m required to sign him permanently in the summer [Daily Record], when his only real role to date has been helping to close out wins after coming on for the closing stages.
The recent pre-contract signing of Nnamdi Ofoborh from Bournemouth is also a hint that the club won’t offer Zungu a deal.
Like Zungu, Ofoborh is predominantly a defensive midfielder, and it wouldn’t make much sense to bring him in if there were plans to retain the Bafana Bafana star.
Theoretically, there’s still time for Zungu to stake his claim. However, it looks likely that, just as was the case with Florian Kamberi last season, the Gers won’t be activating their option to buy.
There’s plenty of competition for places in the Rangers midfield but a teenager who’ll hope to break through at Ibrox one day has made a superb start to his loan spell in the Championship.