Ex Rangers loanee Coulibaly enduring horror loan spell with Cercle Brugge
Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Ex Rangers loanee Coulibaly enduring horror loan spell with Cercle Brugge

Former Rangers loanee Lassana Coulibaly is currently enduring a difficult loan spell with Belgian top-flight club, Cercle Brugge.

The Mali international spent the 2018/19 season at Ibrox and made an impressive early impact under Steven Gerrard.

A powerful presence in midfield, he looked a great addition, winning acclaim from supporters after dominant early Europa League qualifying and Premiership performances.

Coulibaly outmuscles two Hamilton players during an early-season contest. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

However, after a muscle injury and a private family issue, he lost confidence and his performances dipped.

Following the arrivals of Steven Davis and Glen Kamara in January, he slipped down the pecking order.

Steven Gerrard asserted that he liked the player, but suggested a sizeable transfer fee could prohibit a permanent transfer [Daily Record]. In the post-split period, he only made one matchday squad before returning to France in the summer.

Despite featuring prominently for Mali in their Africa Cup of Nations campaign, Angers deemed that he wasn’t ready to come back into their first team, shipping him off to Cercle Brugge for another season-long loan.

Coulibaly left Rangers in the summer before heading out on another loan to Cercle Brugge. (Photo by Frank Abbeloos/Isosport/MB Media/Getty Images)

Unfortunately, it hasn’t gone well so far.

Cercle have been in wretched form all season, and are currently nine points adrift at the bottom of the Pro League on just 11 points [BBC Sport].

Coulibaly’s latest adopted side have only won one of their last 10 fixtures, with their latest defeat coming away at fellow strugglers Eupen on Saturday.

Playing in a team so clearly devoid of confidence can’t be easy, and the midfielder doesn’t appear to have been able to impose himself as he would have hoped.

He missed a chunk of games between October and early December, so has made just 12 appearances in all competitions. In just shy of 1000 minutes, he is yet to score and has registered a solitary assist [Transfermarkt].

One positive is that playing time has been plentiful of late. Coulibaly has lasted the full 90 minutes in Cercle’s last six league fixtures.

Coulibaly in action against Anderlecht in late January. (Photo by KURT DESPLENTER/BELGA MAG/AFP via Getty Images)

With just a few months of the season to go, relegation looks a near certainty, but the ex-Ger will be hopeful of showing up well in times of adversity.

Contracted to Angers until 2021 [Transfermarkt], he won’t have given up hope of forging a successful career in Ligue 1 and at 23, his parent club will know he’s still not yet the finished article.