EFL club expert reacts to Lundstram's Rangers move, drops attitude warning
Photo by OLI SCARFF/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

EFL club expert reacts to Lundstram's Rangers move, drops attitude warning

After John Lundstram’s move to Ibrox was confirmed, Rangers News spoke to Sheffield United News writer Lee Connor to get some insight into the 27-year-old.

Lundstram began his career at Everton but after six loan moves away from Goodison Park, he finally cut ties in 2015 and joined Oxford United.

John Lundstram during his time at Oxford United. (Photo by Catherine Ivill – AMA/Getty Images)

Two years later, he would sign for Championship outfit Sheffield United on a three-year deal, but as Connor explains, he wasn’t an instant hit.

“He didn’t establish himself initially, to be honest,” he said. “He sometimes struggled to get in the side as we played a two with Mark Duffy advanced as a no.10.”

“However, that changed when we got promoted to the Premier League, as Wilder let Duffy go and we had to adapt our shape. We opted for a more rigid three in midfield, with Lundstram to the right of Ollie Norwood.

“The thought process was that we’d have less of the ball, and Lunny’s energy would help us combat that at PL level. In fairness to Wilder and Lunny, it worked.”

The Blades enjoyed a brilliant first season back in the top-flight, finishing ninth. Lundstram was key to their success, too, making 34 appearances, scoring five goals and notching three assists.

“Given we were so good down the left, Lundstram’s task was clear – get in the box when we get in on the left-hand side,” continued Connor. “If you watch his goals, I think all but one come from arriving late at the back post to essentially get a nice tap in. He did have that knack during that season.”

“He can also run all day, he likes to get on the ball when he can, and doesn’t shirk a challenge. However, I’d say he’s not quite as gifted in terms of passing as he might like to think he is. He’s not a Norwood or a Fleck, for example, he’s better when he keeps it simple and ticking over.”

Lundstram celebrates scoring for Sheffield United in a 2019/20 Premier League fixture against Crystal Palace. (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)

After such a positive start to life back in the Premier League, things went south very quickly for United.

Last season, they struggled from start to finish – with Wilder leaving his post along the way – and eventually finished rock bottom on just 23 points.

Lundstram controversially rejected a generous contract offer during the campaign and his performances were criticised by sections of the Bramall Lane faithful.

“Wilder said at the time that it (the new deal) would have made him one of the top earners, so circa 30k-a-week they reckon, but he said no,” explained Connor. “Interestingly, he has the same agent as Duffy, who Wilder had fallen out with the season before.”

“From then he was up against it really. He missed a penalty early in the season against Villa that just summed up the year he’d have. We kept picking him, but I think more out of necessity than want, given the injury problems in the squad.

“In a nutshell, he never looked the same player once we’d signed Sander Berge. It was like he took it as an insult but rather than knuckle down, he looked a bit moody.

“All in all, I’d say it’s a shame how it ended for him. It’s likely he’d be booed if he ever returned, which is sad given he was part of that memorable squad.”

Rangers fans have been warned about Lundstram’s attitude. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

But does he have the tools to thrive at Ibrox?

“He’ll probably be a good asset under Gerrard,” asserted Connor. “If he buys into life with Rangers, he’ll get his head down and be fine like he was with us for a bit. But if he’s not playing, don’t be surprised to see the dummy come out a tad.

“It’s also easy to forget that actually, in three or four years at United, he only really contributed for about five months. But fair play, he’s got a good move.”

Meanwhile, Sheffield United striker and Rangers supporter Oli McBurnie has given his reaction to the Lundstram deal.

LOGIN to Comment
LOGIN to Comment