'Development has been amazing' - How the two most improved Rangers players came to the fore v RB Leipzig

The 3-1 win over RB Leipzig which took Rangers into the Europa League final saw brilliant performances all over pitch.

Allan McGregor didn’t have an awful lot to do but came up with a big second-half save, Ryan Kent was a constant threat to the Germans, while James Tavernier continues to astound as the club’s captain and a regular goal scorer.

However, after the match, manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst was asked about two players who, certainly at the start of the season, were unheralded.

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Few Rangers fans would have expected John Lundstram and Calvin Bassey to emerge as important stars providing match-winning contributions at both ends of the pitch.

Both have displayed their versatility with Lundstram carrying out roles in midfield and defence, while Bassey has played as a left-back and centre-back in a back three and back four.

“John is playing so many roles at the moment,” Van Bronckhorst said. “In games, in preparation for games, I know what he can bring to the team. I know what he brings when he is in a back three, I know what he brings when he is in midfield.

"I think his development this season has been amazing so I am really happy about their performances. He has the character to play for this team.”

With Bassey, Van Bronckhorst, from the moment he witnessed him in action against Hibs in the Premier Sports Cup semi-final loss, knew he had a player who could carry out key defensive functions and do so with aggression.

John Lundstram came in for praise from Giovanni van Bronckhorst. (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)

“There was one moment you could see Calvin pushing forward and marking forward in a great pressure moment and I remember the next day, he was very disappointed with the loss, I told him I saw what he could bring to this team,” the Dutchman said.

"His development has been amazing, playing left-back, playing left central defender. So happy for him.

Van Bronckhorst added: "Both players, all players, in my team come to the training ground, work hard, try to improve themselves every minute of the day to achieve the final together with the staff and everyone involved in the club.”

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