Lassana Coulibaly signing makes up for Rangers' Lucas Leiva failure

TOPSHOT - Former England and Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard smiles as he holds up a Rangers scarf in the trophy room as he is unveiled as Rangers' new manager at Ibrox Stadium in Glasgow,...

New Rangers manager Steven Gerrard reportedly wanted to reunite with Lucas Leiva in the Scottish Premiership but Coulibaly has arrived instead.

Former England and Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard smiles as he holds up a Rangers scarf in the trophy room as he is unveiled as Rangers' new manager at Ibrox Stadium in Glasgow, Scotland...

Defending is a team game, so it would be a little harsh to blame Rangers’ centre-backs for a series of shaky performances at the back last season.

Yes, Rangers conceded far too many goals in the previous campaign (50, more than any other side in the top seven) but the midfield also has to take its fair share of the blame.

There was a real lack of a central enforcer in Rangers’ side with the likes of Ryan Jack, Greg Docherty, Sean Goss and Graham Dorrans more a jack of all trades than a defensively-minded specialist.

New recruits Scott Arfield and Ovie Ejaria fall into the same category.

So that makes the now-confirmed signing of Mali international Lassana Coulibaly all the more important.

The nine-capped 22-year-old arrives at Ibrox on a season-long loan deal from Ligue 1 outfit Angers and, although he is not a household name, he could soon become indispensable for Steven Gerrard.

Lassana Coulibaly of Mali is challenged by Ryota Morioka of Japan during the International friendly match between Japan and Mali at the Stade de Sclessin on March 23, 2018 in Liege Belgium.

Perhaps Gerrard sees Coulibaly as Rangers’ answer to Lucas Leiva, the 37-year-old’s former Liverpool teammate who he was keen to reunite with at Ibrox. Lucas, however, will be staying at Lazio after a stellar season in Serie A, according to the Scottish Sun.

Lucas at Liverpool was an unsung hero, a selfless midfielder who went about his business quietly and allowed his more gifted teammates to shine, while providing some much-needed protection to a weak back line.

Coulibaly might not be an eye-catching statement signing like Lucas would have been but he could perform the same job.

Lucas Leiva of SS Lazioi celebrates a winner game after the UEFA Europa League quarter final leg one match between Lazio Roma and RB Salzburg at Stadio Olimpico on April 5, 2018 in Rome,...

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