Rangers’ struggles in midfield against Bayer Leverkusen on Thursday evening showed why the club are reportedly interested in Bongani Zungu.
The Gers were keen to get the ball down and play in the early stages in Germany but after shaking off some early rustiness, Leverkusen bossed the match.
The hosts completed over three times as many passes as the visitors in the first half and it was much the same story after the break.
Steven Gerrard selected Joe Aribo, Steven Davis and Ryan Jack in midfield and while Aribo left with pass marks, the game passed Davis and Jack by.
Neither player was able to get near the likes of Charles Aranguiz and Florian Wirtz when the opposition were in possession and when they got hold of the ball themselves, they didn’t show enough invention or crispness in their passing to create opportunities.
Midfield was an area of strength for the Gers over the first half of last season, but the defeat at the BayArena showed that if Steven Gerrard has designs on going even further in Europe next time around, he needs to strengthen in the engine room.
Several midfielders have been linked with the club so far this summer, but Zungu has been the most widely-spoken about, with Steven Gerrard even acknowledging his awareness of the player [Scottish Herald].
L’Equipe recently reported that a £3.6m fee had been agreed. Joe Crann then claimed in the Scotsman that a four-year contract was on the table but that the deal had recently hit a ‘snag’ over personal terms.
There’s still plenty of time remaining to get deals done, but it’s imperative that the Gers inject more dynamism into the middle of the park by bringing someone like Zungu in.
The experienced international who has pace and a good engine, started his career as a number 10 before dropping into a deeper-lying role.
At 27, Zungu should be at the peak of his powers and given his experience of playing at a high level in Ligue 1, the Gers should be pulling out all the stops to bring a player in his mould to the club.