As we all know, while he came to Ibrox with a heck of a decent CV, midfielder John Lundstram is yet to live up to those expectations and has become a bit of a maligned figure in his early days at the club.
Fans haven’t been overly impressed with his lack of impact in midfield, for despite his colossal frame and large physique, his presence in the middle has come nowhere near the clout his appearance suggests.
If we look at his stats, do they back this up?
Let’s look at his biggest domestic outing – the loss to Utd.
In terms of touches, of our three main mids, alongside Kamara and Davis, he was on the ball only marginally less than Kamara (57 touches to 66) but miles less than Davis on 95.
His passing quality, however, was superior to both and he managed more key passes than either of them as well. He also managed more passes overall than Kamara.
And purely statistically his score that day was better than either of them as well, 6.42 compared with 6.35 and 6.17.
If we look at stats alone, then he’s actually delivered better than how he appears, but Lundstram’s big issue is lack of obvious mobility and presence. That day, unlike both Kamara and Davis who both freely roamed all three midfield flanks, Lundstram largely remained isolated on the left, and didn’t really get into the heart of midfield to the extent. His heatmap reveals his hanging mainly on one side while the other two covered more ground.
And if we add his lack of physicality at this stage, of obviously using his body to his advantage like Morelos does, it means he looks like he’s doing less.
Fans like to see sexy football, to see players roll their sleeves up and work hard – and when a player doesn’t ‘look’ like any of these, it doesn’t go down so well.
Lundstram has plenty time to win fans over, but he might just need to get noisier on the pitch to achieve that.
All in good time.