Steven Gerrard has got the energetic, powerful midfielder he was looking for this summer.
Nine-time Mali international Lassana Coulibaly has moved to Ibrox on loan from Ligue 1 outfit Angers for the 2017/18 season. Arriving alongside Roma front man Umar Sadiq, the 22-year-old will add defensive solidity to a midfield full of box-to-box talents.
Coulibaly is certainly something of a left-field option given Rangers’ previous links with Scottish Premiership stars John McGinn, Glen Kamara and Youssouf Mulumbu. And, speaking to the Sunday Post, Gerrard has pinpointed the moment when he knew he wanted to bring the Ligue 1 ace to Glasgow.
“He’s a destroyer-type of midfielder and is very different to what we have here. He’s played at a top level over in France and I watched numerous games over 90 minutes but the game that he really impressed me in was against Paris St-Germain,” 37-year-old Gerrard said, referring to Coulibaly’s display in a narrow 2-1 defeat to the Ligue 1 champions in March.
“He was up against world-class players but broke play up and kept the ball really simple, doing a really excellent job for the team.”
Coulibaly made one of just eight league starts last season against PSG. And he did a sterling job in the centre of the park in the face of a side who swept almost all before them while cruising to the title.
Coulibaly made three tackles and posted an 84 per cent pass completion rate, arguably outshining PSG’s big-name counterparts Marco Verratti, Thiago Motta and Julian Draxler.