John Lundstram: Who is Rangers' new midfield signing? The lowdown on midfielder who was key in Chris Wilder's Sheffield United side
Steven Gerrard’s Rangers today made their third signing of the summer with the confirmation Sheffield United midfielder John Lundstram has signed a three year deal at the Ibrox club.
27-year-old Lundstram has joined the club on a Bosman free transfer following the expiration of his contract at Bramall Lane, with Gerrard adding the signing would “enhance” his side squad and heralding the “undoubted quality” of the midfielder.
The Scottish champions have wasted no time in the transfer market this summer, with the Blades midfielder joining highly rated duo Fashion Sakala and Nnamdi Ofoborh in Glasgow as Gerrard’s side look to defend their title in 2021/22.
Who is John Lundstram?
The energetic midfielder, born in Liverpool, is a product of Premier League stalwarts Everton, where he spent the early years of his career after signing his first professional contract in 2012.
Highly rated as a teenager, he was a regular in the England youth set up and was a key part of several Three Lions youth squads.
He helped his country reach the semi finals of the European Championship in Serbia and was named in the ‘team of the tournament’, with the media labelling his style of play as similar to Gers current boss, and Liverpool legend, Steven Gerrard. He also went on to captain England at under 17 and under 19 level.
Despite the youngster’s pedigree, he was unable to break into the first team squad at Goodison Park, and moved out on loan to Doncaster Rovers, where he was a key figure for Bryan Flynn’s side as they won the League One championship.
Several loan spells followed, but Lundstram left the Toffees when his contract expired in 2015. He was offered a new deal but opted to move, stating he wanting to play regular first team football and to feel “part of something”.
He subsequently joined Oxford United, where he gained promotion to League One in his debut season, before being appointed club captain aged just 22-years-old.
His form at The U’s prompted Chris Wilder to fork out a fee of £700,00 shortly afterwards and he went on to play a vital role in Sheffield United’s remarkable rise from League One to the Premier League.
What type of player is John Lundstram?
An all-action midfielder the Scouse midfielder was likened to Steven Gerrard in his earlier days and, at Sheffield United, the player shone brightly in the clubs Premier League return.
Though the Blades found a second season in the Premier League hard to navigate this year, under Wilder, the team were a breath of fresh air to the Premier League in 2019/20 – and Lundstram was a key cog in their outstanding form which led them to a remarkable ninth placed finish.
He was singled out for praise in Sheffield United’s home win over Crystal Palace – their first since returning to the top flight – with one fanzine claiming his performance was “his finest hour” as a Blade, attesting his display set the tone as to the levels the side would go on to reach that season. His winning goal also made him one of only seven players to have scored in all four divisions of English football.
Energetic and aggressive, he had his best seasonal output in that debut Premier League season for Wilder’s side, hitting five goals and three assists in 34 games. A battle hardened winner in defence, his constant energy proved to be vital for a hard working, industrious Wilder side that took the top flight by storm.
In fact, in the first three months of Sheffield United's Premier League campaign Lundstram topped Premier League charts when it came to sprints, distance covered, chances created, shots and goals.
And, despite United’s difficult last season and the subsequent contract dispute, Lundstram still showed his ability with a pass success rate of 84%, while also hitting 0.7 key passes per game – impressive for a side that, in truth, struggled immensely during last season’s Covid hit campaign.
While Rangers are well stocked in the midfield area, the box-to-box midfielder should offer Gerrard and his squad something different to a squad that is already shaping up look even stronger than it had done during last year’s invincible season.
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