In the opening weeks of the season, Steven Gerrard’s Rangers side were too often accused of ill discipline and poor game management. Both factors highlighted the one thing that his team was most desperately missing – A midfield general. Now, he may finally have it in Lassana Coulibaly.
It took a few outings for the Mali international to find his feet at Ibrox since joining on loan from Angers for the season in the summer, but the little known Coulibaly has grown into his new role and become a dominant force.
With his goal against Dundee, followed by a strong display against Villarreal, Coulibaly looks to be one of the first names on the team sheet for the Liverpool legend.
With a hamstring injury now behind him, the 22-year-old has averaged over 90% pass accuracy in three of his last four outings, reflecting the way that he has looked to dictate the tempo of games from the middle of the park.
Off the ball, he’s proved that he’s not afraid to get stuck in either, making a remarkable 30 duels in the game against Dundee as he consistently broke up play and denied his rivals the chance to find a way through to attack the Rangers back line.
It’s clear that Gerrard knows that he is still a diamond in the rough and a very raw talent, having taken him off as a substitute in every game since his return from injury, but there is undoubted potential there.
As Gerrard continues to build this team instill his philosophy, there are few better candidates to learn from one of a generation’s best midfielders than Coulibaly.