Rangers fans have taken to social media after it emerged that South Africa international Bongani Zungu, who is currently on loan at Ibrox from Amiens, was one of five players caught up in a breach of Covid restrictions.
Speaking to RangersTV in an interview released via club channels on Wednesday afternoon, Steven Gerrard confirmed the players involved were Zungu, Nathan Patterson, Calvin Bassey, Dapo Mebude and Brian Kinnear.
🎥 Steven Gerrard: Fully Focussed On Royal Antwerp pic.twitter.com/hDyDqfyIAc
— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) February 17, 2021
All five have been suspended pending an internal investigation and the confirmation that contracted players broke regulations has prompted angry reactions from supporters.
At 28, Zungu is by far the oldest of those involved and many fans are convinced he won’t be seen in a Rangers shirt again.
The club have an option to sign the Bafana Bafana star for a reported £2.7m from Amiens in the summer [Daily Record], but there’s no obligation to buy and a permanent deal was already looking unlikely prior to this revelation, given that he hasn’t managed to establish himself in the team.
Here’s a selection of reactions from supporters on Twitter:
Bye Bye Zungu.
— Marxist Rangers (@MarxistRangers2) February 17, 2021
Unbelievable … just signed a new deal and breaking into the first team squad . Can’t see a future for any of them . I would wager they will all be sent out on loan next season and zungu sent back to parent club.
— Alan Sayers (@AlanSayers71) February 17, 2021
Gut reaction would be sack them for most folks HR comes in to play as does business acumen Zungu option to buy will be rejected Debude contract up SG interview other steps will be decided I know they could have caused major problem I still wouldn’t sack them Give them a way back
— Alan Carmichael (@AlanC_44) February 17, 2021
Think Zungu will be sent back to Amiens early as for the young lads really don’t know what’ll happen with them
— Harrison Crowe (@harricrowe) February 17, 2021
Hope not. Most are young players, but Zungu is meant to be an experienced pro. Might as well tell him to take the rest of the season off
— Crazy Horse 🇬🇧 (@glasgowsportsfa) February 17, 2021
Quite possible, Zungu is the the easiest one to solve, he’s hardly set the heather alight anyway. But i can still see Gerrard punting Patterson and Bassey as well, certainly on loan.
— Bills truth Stand (@Maccus74) February 17, 2021
Zungu option to buy now off the table surely?
— Davie1969 (@DangerousD1969) February 17, 2021
Zungu defo no staying then
— Saluting to 🇬🇧 55 🇬🇧 (@Scoash912) February 17, 2021
Zungu’s chances of a permanent deal were extremely slim anyway, this just puts the final nail in the coffin for him. I won’t lose sleep over it anyway
— G (@garryhood1872) February 17, 2021
Aye Zungu will be sent back no doubt! You’d have thought he’d have more sense, he’s no a young lad
— Jan Lewicki (@JPLNOV78) February 17, 2021
Zungu has made 15 appearances for Rangers since joining on the final day of the summer transfer window but has only played 432 minutes of football in Light Blue.
He has made just four starts, with only one of those coming in the Premiership, in the recent 1-1 draw at Hamilton.
Rangers are back in Europa League action on Thursday night and here’s our Predicted XI for the first leg Round of 32 tie against Royal Antwerp.