John Lundstram will be entering the final 12 months of his contract come the summer so it’s time for the club to make a decision on his future. Do Rangers sell in the transfer window to maximise profit? Run down his contract and risk losing him on a free? Or even offer him a new deal?
After that night against Leipzig at Ibrox it would’ve been unfathomable to even consider not extending John Lundstram’s contract. That feels like a life time ago now though and his form this season hasn’t been anywhere near the heights of last seasons European run. It’s been a while since ‘The Best on Earth’ was sung in the stands and that tells it all about his dip in performance levels.
He will turn 30 before his contract ends and with a refresh of the squad needed he’s an asset who could be sold to make way for some fresh faces. Still a regular in the side he has made 28 SPFL appearances which include 24 starts and has contributed five goals but no assists.
Technically he is very gifted, an excellent passer of the ball and someone capable of testing the keeper from any distance. The issue isn’t with his numbers, as they are actually very impressive, particularly his passing;
- 90% Pass Accuracy
- 92% Accuracy in Own Half
- 87% Accuracy in Opposition Half
- 70% Long Ball Accuracy on 4.7 Per Game!
These are truly remarkable numbers, specifically long ball accuracy. For reference, Kevin De Bruyne averages 67% long ball accuracy on 2.4 per game!
The issue isn’t with his accuracy though, it’s the fact he will favour a pass back or sideways to a forward pass. He very rarely looks to break the lines or play the ball through with his passes and that really slows the play down. Often he will kill the momentum of an attack by keeping it safe and simple, something which goes against Michael Beale’s philosophy.
He is a steady and reliable passer but not someone who fits the ‘get the ball and bodies forward’ mentality that Beale has been aiming for. The difference in the forward play is palpable when he’s in, instead of Jack, the style just seems so much more slow and laboured with him in there.
His defensive numbers for the season are also good on paper;
- 1 Interception Per Game
- 1.1 Tackles Per Game
- 47% Ground Duels Won
The numbers aren’t quite as good as other players who provide similar a la Jack and Raskin. He also at times comes across as lazy on the defensive end, something the other two are the opposite of. The away game at McDiarmid Park sticks out when he lost the ball and instead of pushing to win it back, threw his hands up and almost walked back.
He’s not the same player he was at the end of last season, much more similar to the player of the start of last season! Would you give him another chance? He’s shown what he can do and when he’s at it he is a genuinely quality midfielder.
Can he regain previous form in the run in? Would you sell in the summer or has he earned the right to a new contract?