We’ve spoken on the site about our questions over the future of Greg Docherty. Some agree with our concerns, others think he has a huge role to play. But one summer signing from Steven Gerrard, who played a heck of a lot in that position, when fit, during 2018 was Mali’s Lassana Coulibaly.
Signed on loan from French cracks Angers, the affable midfielder started life at Ibrox pretty inconspicuously, before building up a huge head of steam between July and August. Sadly a bad injury against St Mirren curtailed him, and since his return, has been nowhere near the player he was, possible not helped by an apparent family bereavement, believed to be his father.
And Gerrard’s January work suggests the Rangers manager is already looking forward with regards midfield – not only bringing in Steven Davis, but likely adding Finland’s Glen Kamara now, should negotiations go favourably with Dundee.
The end game is two more players for central midfield, which is either our manager planning for suspensions and injuries, or him looking to replace existing underperformers, which unfortunately, circumstances aside, definitely includes the destructive marauder.
There is, however, absolutely no sign of his being returned to Angers, however, despite all the new acquisitions and the borderline ridiculous depth Rangers have in the middle – Gerrard will certainly not want for choice in that area of the pitch.
Will he go back? There is, as mentioned, no apparent motion in that area – and despite his poor form for the bulk of the second half of 2018, Coulibaly tended to start more often than not; 25 appearances despite a two-month absence shows how much he was involved. And this was despite Gerrard having the likes of Jordan Rossiter and Ross McCrorie to call upon.
However, the latter is certain to have a bigger role in the second half of the season – McCrorie came onto some excellent form and was stellar v Celtic, and he will be expecting to make a much bigger impression on the XI than he did last year. While Coulibaly’s recent form doesn’t really justify his place at all.
Is it best he returns to Angers? Probably. He’s another team’s player who, regardless of mitigating circumstances, hasn’t delivered enough in Scotland.
Whether Gerrard agrees will depend on how much depth the manager wants to have. And, of course, any clauses which stipulate return circumstances.
Would you keep the Malian at Ibrox?