Chris Sutton believes that Rangers defender George Edmundson is a “raw” talent”, but has urged his manager Steven Gerrard to stick with him as the centre-back option next to Connor Goldson for now.
The 22-year-old defender endured a mixed night of emotions on Thursday, as the Gers were beaten 3-1 at home by Bundesliga side Bayer Leverkusen.
The German side have taken complete control of the Europa League round of 16 tie, with three vital away goal in the fixture and they are now strong favourites to progress ahead of the second leg.
Leverkusen took the lead through a Kai Havertz penalty, with Edmundson conceding the spot-kick for a handball when he was judged to have his hand in unnatural position.
Charles Aranguiz and Leon Bailey were also on the scoresheet for the visitors in the second-half, but perhaps the Scottish giants have been given a glimmer of hope by Edmundson’s powerful header from a corner that made it 2-1 at the time.
Sutton discussed the Rangers no-nonsense defender after the game and hailed his attitude.
“He (Edmundson) is a little bit raw but one thing is he is super committed,” Sutton told BT Sport 3 (10:10, 12 March).
“Fantastic header and then you’re thinking is this the comeback. Really connected with that well. You get total commitment. You’ve got to give him a run now [in the team].”
It was a mixed evening for Edmundson on Thursday, but it’s all part of his learning experience and supporters need to be mindful that he’s only aged 22 and has had very little experience at the top level.
He certainly has some mistakes that he needs to iron out of his game, but he does have a super work-rate and physical presence in the backline.
He’s forced his way into the first-team picture on a more regular basis in the past couple of months and will keep improving as a player.