Having landed a dream move to Glasgow Rangers South African midfielder Bongani Zungu appears set to make his Europa League debut this term.
Zungu was signed to Rangers on a deadline day loan move with an option to purchase the player from French outfit Amiens.
Zungu set for Europa League debut
The midfielder was a surprise inclusion in the Rangers Europa League squad with veteran striker Jermaine Defoe missing out on the group.
Rangers will take part in a tricky Europa League Group D, alongside Portuguese club Benfica, Belgians Standard Liege and Polish outfit Lech Poznan.
Gerrard’s Rangers currently top the Scottish Premiership with Celtic in hot pursuit one point back although the defending champions have a game in hand.
Rangers are unbeaten in ten SPL matches and face Celtic in a massive clash on Saturday 17 October after the international break.
Zungu left South Africa in 2016 making the move from Mamelodi Sundowns to Portugal’s Vitória Guimarães SC, starting in their B outfit.
He had been at Amiens for three years making 59 appearances for the club. He played in the Caf Champions League with Sundowns but his stint at Rangers is set to give him his first taste of continental football in Europe.
Former Bafana Bafana striker Benni McCarthy revealed that Rangers coaching staff member Michael Beale approached him for a reference on Zungu.
“I know Michael very well as we were on the same Uefa coaching courses together, so he phoned me for a chat about Zungu,” said McCarthy.
“When they were first interested in him they wanted to do some background checks. They had a good idea of what kind of player he was and wanted my opinion on him as well. I told them they’d be getting a real good one if they signed him. Not only is Zungu a great player, he is a fighter. I’ve watched him blossom over the last few years and Rangers have got themselves a fantastic footballer.”
“He is the complete midfielder, very comfortable on the ball and so strong in the tackle. He can play as a defensive midfielder too because he is so good at cleaning up. But he also offers you an attacking threat and he can score goals. Zungu can do everything in the middle of the park and that is why Steven Gerrard was so desperate to sign him. He is a tough tackler and if you need someone to put their foot in then he is capable of that. If you need someone to go in for a tough 50/50 challenge then he is your guy,” he added.
Rangers Europa League registered players
Goalkeepers: McGregor, McLaughlin
Defenders: Tavernier, Goldson, Helander, Balogun, Barisic, Bassey
Midfielders: Jack, Hagi, Davis, Kent, Zungu, Aribo, Arfield, Kamara, Itten, Stewart
Forwards: Roofe, Morelos, Barker