Unravelling the truth behind new Rangers signing Bacuna

Unravelling the truth behind new Rangers signing Bacuna
New signing Juninho Bacuna (Credit Rangers FC)

New signing Juninho Bacuna has barely been mentioned since his arrival some days ago. The 24-year old attacking/central/defensive midfielder, signed for his versatility, put pen to paper earlier last week and was paraded v Alashkert.

What do we know about this guy?

Well, his biggest attribute is he can play almost anywhere in the front 6, including defensive midfielder – he can run either flank and can fit both midfield sides too. He can also play in the 10 slot, albeit Rangers don’t really play with that position these days. His only omission is the striker.

There’s also no denying the kid is a decent player, despite being at 16th placed Huddersfield in the Championship. His appearances at that level plus nearly a hundred in Holland with Groningen show a player on the cusp of hitting the top of the game, and Rangers of course are by far the biggest club he’s ever played for, and have UEL to bring him, in all likelihood.

He’s also got 21 outings in the PL, also for Huddersfield, so we know the guy has a CV – not a devastatingly stunning one, but a more than competent one, and he has 10 caps for his country too.

Dutch football expert Michael Bell suggests Juninho is a pure CM:

“Bacuna is a central midfielder, who can also play as a DM. He is aggressive in the tackle but also a lovely dribbler and passer. Was a standout in a poor Groningen side for the past two seasons and he is definitely ready for a step up.”

Now interestingly Steven Gerrard has stated he’s a pure attacking midfielder, who likes to run at people. This is at major odds with not only what Michael Bell says, but all data at hand as well which suggests he is indeed a central and defensive midfielder who does occasionally get into more attacking positions now and then. There isn’t much data backing up the claims of attacking dribbling a lot (if any) since he left Holland.

So, we’re not absolutely sure exactly what the manager is talking about and we’re not just going to blurt out ‘in Stevie we trust’ because the data does not agree with what he’s claimed. Perhaps he misspoke. Maybe he meant to say ‘deep lying playmaker’ because that is much more like what he is, a Joey Veerman/Barry Ferguson type.

That said, the lad’s career is of a decent enough level that there could be a gem here.

We won’t see much of him for a little while, but when he’s up to speed hopefully he’ll show why we forked out cash for him.

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