How Rangers can benefit from Bongani Zungu loan deal
According to BBC, Rangers have completed the signing of South African international midfielder Bongani Zungu on a season-long loan deal from French club Amiens, with Steven Gerrard’s side holding the option to make the deal permanent next summer.
Born in Duduza, South Africa, Bongani Zungu completed his development at Dynamos F.C before turning professional with University of Pretoria in the top-flight.
An impressive tally of 7 goals in 27 appearances during the 2013-14 season paved the way for a switch to Mamelodi Sundowns and Zungu went on to make 68 appearances for the South African heavyweights, winning two domestic titles over the course of three seasons at the club.
The 27-year-old made his move to Europe with Portuguese outfit Vitoria de Guimaraes and subsequently joined Amiens in the French top-flight back in 2017. Zungu made 52 appearances in Ligue 1 across three full campaigns as Amiens eventually suffered relegation at the end of last season.
A full international for South Africa since 2013, Zungu has scored 4 goals in 29 appearances for Bafana Bafana and was instrumental in their march to the quarter-final of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.
Zungu is expected to add more depth to Rangers’ midfield
Rangers weren’t really short of options in the middle of the park at the start of the season, with Ryan Jack, Glen Kamara, Scott Arfield, Steven Davis and Joe Aribo all competing for places in the ranks. However, the injury to Aribo has somewhat limited Steve Gerrard’s reserves in recent weeks.
Notwithstanding that Aribo will be pushing for a return from his ankle injury after the international break, the arrival of Bongani Zungu still comes as a boost to Rangers’ campaign. Capable of playing in box-to-box and defensive roles in the midfield, the 27-year-old has just the right kind of profile to provide Gerrard with some extra depth and cover in that department.
Rangers’ squad depth will surely be tested later on in the campaign when the group stages of the Europa League, and the domestic cup competitions get underway. Hence, it’s important for the Gers to have quality alternatives in all areas of the pitch and Zungu could have a part to play moving forward.
Steven Davis has been a mainstay in Gerrard’s starting eleven for quite a while but with the Northern Irishman nearing his twilight at 35, Zungu will be expected to step in and reduce the workload on the veteran.
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Rangers’ interest in signing a new midfielder had been well-documented all throughout the summer, with Russian international Daler Kuzyaev and Preston’s Daniel Johnson mentioned as the key targets for Gerrard.
Although they failed to get deals over the line for the aforementioned players, the deadline day arrival of Bongani Zungu should be enough to replenish the club’s depth in the middle of the park.
The 27-year-old still has several years remaining in his prime and Rangers might as well explore the prospect of a permanent move for the South African if he manages to make a positive impression during his loan spell this term.