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Rangers should make Lassana Coulibaly’s stay permanent in the summer

According to the Scottish Sun, Rangers manager Steven Gerrard is keen to sign Lassana Coulibaly permanently at the end of the season.

The 22-year-old Malian international made his move to Ibrox at the start of the campaign on a season-long loan deal from French Ligue 1 side Angers. Coulibaly has established himself as one of the mainstays of Rangers’ midfield, accumulating 3 goals and 2 assists from 28 appearances across all competitions.

The 12-cap Malian international has started on 13 occasions in the Scottish Premiership, with Gerrard deploying him in a number of positions in the middle of the park. While he is most suited to playing in a deep position as a shield for the rearguard, the 22-year-old has also been used on the flanks and in a more advanced No.10 role behind the striker.

Coulibaly was one of the first names on Gerrard’s team sheet in the first few months of the season, starting each of the Gers’ Europa League games as they failed to progress to the knockout stages. He showed some real signs of quality earlier in the campaign but his inconsistent form has resulted in his slip down the pecking order in recent weeks.

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Gerrard has shown the eagerness to experiment with his formations and team dynamics, with the Liverpool legend favouring the likes of Ross McCrorie and Ryan Jack to fill in the role of a midfield pivot in his 4-1-4-1, 4-2-3-1 or 4-3-3 system. As a matter of fact, Coulibaly has warmed the benches since the turn of the year and has failed to make it to the starting eleven even in the cup competitions. It can be said that the arrival of Glen Kamara has further limited his playtime.

Now, whether Rangers should really splash the cash to sign Coulibaly is something that can be put up for debate but writing him off completely would not be a good idea for the Gers. Granted, the youngster’s influence has waned with time this season but he has shown enough quality to establish himself as an important squad player at Ibrox.

Rangers currently sit 2nd in the Scottish Premiership standings, 8 points adrift of table-toppers Celtic and the Gers cannot afford any more slip-ups in the dying stages of the campaign if they are to stay alive in the title race. The Gers need more depth and quality in their ranks to challenge for silverware on all fronts and Lassana Coulibaly certainly fits the bill.

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Gerrard has the likes of Ryan Jack, Andy Halliday and Ross McCrorie as options in central midfield but signing Coulibaly will enrich his reserves even more. With his tough-tackling nature and quality on the ball, he can become a useful long-term servant for the Gers.

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That said, the 22-year-old is expected to get better with time and Rangers should not hesitate to make his stay permanent at the end of the season.

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