Rangers: Giovanni van Bronckhorst called 'tactical genius' as lid lifted on transformation

John Lundstram has credited Giovanni Van Bronckhorst for the transformation which has seen him emerge as the Ibrox side’s keyman in recent months.

Rangers manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst during Sunday's 2-0 win over Dundee United (Photo by Alan Harvey / SNS Group)
Rangers manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst during Sunday's 2-0 win over Dundee United (Photo by Alan Harvey / SNS Group)

Lundstram described the Rangers manager as a “tactical genius” as the countdown to next week’s Europa League final against Eintracht Frankfurt begins.

The 28-year-old was signed by fellow Liverpudlian Steven Gerrard last summer. He is happy to admit the former manager was a “massive draw” for him when he was deciding his next move after the failure to agree a new contract with Sheffield United. Van Bronckhorst, however, has helped take his performances to another level despite speculation in the last transfer window that the Dutchman was prepared to let the player leave Ibrox.

Lundstram has since excelled in the centre of defence as well as midfield. He performed both roles in the same game against RB Leipzig as recently as last week as Rangers overcame their German opponents to reach next Wednesday’s final. He scored the decisive goal in the 3-2 aggregate victory and Lundstram has hailed Van Bronckhorst’s tactical insight.

“I think, tactically, he’s just an absolute genius,” he said. “Honestly, his calmness is always there and he instils that through the squad.

“The tactical switches – he puts me where he wants to, at the back and then back into midfield. But it seems to work and it’s just great.

“I had an honest conversation with him and he said that’s where he could see me playing at times. I said that was absolutely fine, whatever he needed me to do was no problem at all. That was very early doors so I have absolutely no problem in doing what the manager wants me to do.”

Lundstram took time to establish himself in the Rangers side after signing a three-year deal in July. Supporters were unsure about his qualities and Gerrard was forced to defend his signing from grumbles in the stands as he began to make more regular starts last Autumn.

Gerrard’s departure in November raised question marks over Lundstram’s own future. “He will always be a legend at the club for getting 55,” said Lundstram, with reference to Gerrard. “He’ll definitely be proud of what we’ve done. He got us halfway, that’s credit to him, and Gio’s got us the rest of the way.”

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