Steven Davis and Lassana Coulibaly are two very similar types of players. Therefore, what would the signing of the former mean for the latter?
It feels as though Davis is starting to become consistently linked with a move back to Ibrox. In truth, that’s because he is. Earlier on this season, the midfielder was snapped with a fan saying that he would like to come back to Glasgow.
Just this week, however, fresh rumours have hit the headlines about a potential return for the Northern Irishman in January. On paper, it seems like a no-brainer. Davis has spent six extremely successful years down at Southampton. Earning himself the captaincy, Davis has made 182 Saints appearances and bagged himself 14 goals.
With that kind of experience, he should be a shoe-in for a move to Rangers if he wants it. But what would that say about the performances of Coulibaly this season?
When he arrived, the Malian was supposed to be that box-to-box midfielder Rangers had been missing. He had power, energy, and an aggression in the middle of the park that was supposed to be a game-changer.
Coulibaly’s whole game is supposed to be about winning the midfield battles, and he doesn’t mind getting stuck in. But, there’s no denying that for the last month and a half that just hasn’t been the case.
During his first five appearances at Rangers, he looked the business. He was the kind of player who would win the ball midway through his own half and dart straight up the other end in an instant.
Now? He’s having barely any influence on matches and is consistently losing the ball cheaply. This isn’t the same Coulibaly that started so impressively at Ibrox in his first month. Over the course of his last nine matches since returning from a thigh injury, he hasn’t had the same sharpness.
Davis coming in would be an acknowledgement of that, and would surely take Coulibaly’s box-to-box role. The fact that the Malian enforcer is only on-loan until the end of the season means that Rangers need to start finding a tune from him soon.
The addition to the squad of Davis would be a massive shot-in-the-arm for all concerned. He was part of Walter Smith’s three-in-a-row winners, and brings a winning mentality to Ibrox with him.
This may not happen, and the rumour may end up not being acted upon by the club. If they are interested, however, it will tell us a lot about how Gerrard has viewed Coulibaly’s displays.