Why Rangers signing Bongani Zungu would bolster their midfield
According to the Glasgow Evening Times, reported Rangers target Bongani Zungu has confirmed via his Twitter account that he is no longer playing for Amiens following their relegation from the French top-flight at the end of last season.
The 27-year-old has been on the Gers’ shortlist this summer. But a touted move to Ibrox appeared to have collapsed after the South African international was deemed overweight and out of shape. (h/t Glasgow Evening Times)
However, as per the report, Zungu hasn’t given up hopes of completing a transfer to Rangers. And, the midfielder’s latest comments on social media have fueled speculations over his future.
Born in Duduza, South Africa, Bongani Zungu started his professional career with University of Pretoria in his homeland and subsequently went on to feature for domestic heavyweights Mamelodi Sundowns.
The central midfielder made close to 100 appearances in his homeland before earning a move to Europe with Portuguese club Vitoria Guimaraes in the summer of 2016. Zungu scored thrice in 27 appearances for Vitoria in his only season in Portugal, with his impressive displays paving the way for a switch to Ligue 1 with Amiens SC.
The 27-year-old made 57 appearances for the French club in all competitions across three seasons before Amiens suffered relegation at the end of the previous campaign. Zungu has a contract with his current club until 2021. But, he hasn’t hesitated to claim that he is no longer playing for the relegated outfit.
Zungu would add more depth to Rangers’ midfield
Rangers went into the 2020-21 campaign well-stocked in the central midfield department and also secured a permanent deal for last season’s loanee Ianis Hagi to bolster their creative cavalry. However, the Gers currently find themselves short of cover in the middle of the park after suffering a major injury blow.
Steven Gerrard’s side romped home to a comfortable 4-0 win over Dundee United in the Scottish Premiership last weekend, thus maintaining a six-point gap over arch-rivals Celtic at the top of the standings. However, that victory came at a massive cost, with Ryan Jack and Brandon Barker both picking up injuries and joining Joe Aribo on the treatment table.
The manager has confirmed that Jack has a calf problem and will need to undergo further scans to determine the extent of his injury (h/t Glasgow Live). That leaves 35-year-old Steven Davis and Glen Kamara as the only deep midfield options available at Gerrard’s disposal.
Both players are more than capable of playing week in, week out in the domestic league. But with Rangers also progressing in the Europa League, lack of quality cover in midfield could jeopardise their chances amid an ongoing injury crisis.
Bongani Zungu boasts considerable top-flight experience in Europe with Vitoria in Portugal and Amiens in France, which suggests that he can be a valuable addition to Rangers’ midfield ranks.
The 24-cap South African international is also versatile enough to play in defensive and box-to-box roles, which should facilitate squad rotation in Gerrard’s preferred 4-3-3 and 4-2-3-1 formations.
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Davis is already in his twilight while Scott Arfield is also nearing the latter stages of his career at 31. That being said, Rangers completing a move for the South African star would not only help them cope with an immediate injury crisis, but also hand a boost to their long-term plans moving forward.