Matt Polster proves he is more than just a right-back for Rangers' reserves

head coach Steven Gerrard of Rangers FC looks on prior to the UEFA Europa League group G match between BSC Young Boys and Rangers FC at Stade de Suisse, Wankdorf on October 3, 2019 in Bern,...

Scottish Premiership leaders Rangers handed ex-Chicago Fire ace Matt Polster a two-year contract in January but he's struggled for chances under Gerrard.

Matt Polster of Rangers in action during the UEFA Europa League First Qualifying round 2nd Leg match between Rangers and St Joseph at Ibrox Stadium on July 18, 2019 in Glasgow, Scotland.

If Rangers fans thought that Matt Polster was little more than a back-up right-back, his performances for Graeme Murty’s reserves suggest that there’s a few more strings to the American’s bow.

The one-time USA international has made just a pair of first-team appearances in 2019/20. Both of those came on the right-hand side of Steven Gerrard’s four-man backline.

Subscribe

And, as Lee Hodson will tell you, being a second choice right-back at Rangers is a lonely existence. James Tavernier, club captain, assist king and set-piece specialist, remains pretty much the first name on the team-sheet and Polster is arguably behind Jon Flanagan in the pecking order too.

 

The former Chicago Fire man hasn’t been included in the matchday squad for any of Rangers’ eight Scottish Premiership games so far this season - a worrying trend which raises questions about his importance at Ibrox.

But there’s more to Polster than meets the eye. He wears number ten rather than number two for Rangers’ reserves and, while he may not be an elusive enganche, Wisconsin's answer to Juan Roman Riquelme, Polster is more than comfortable in a central midfield position.

Matt Polster #15 of The United States watches his cross with Luka Zakaric #19 of Bosnia Herzegovina during a 0-0 draw at StubHub Center on January 28, 2018 in Carson, California.

In fact, the 26-year-old was even a regular in the engine room during his time in the MLS. It was only the arrival of Bayern Munich and Germany legend Bastian Schweinsteiger that forced Polster into a new-look right-back role during his final few months at Chicago Fire.

So if Gerrard ever needs an extra midfielder, perhaps someone to fill in if Ryan Jack, Glen Kamara or Scott Arfield are unavailable, don’t be surprised to see Polster be given a chance in a rather surprising role.

Chicago Fire defender Matt Polster (2) drives with the ball in the first half during an MLS soccer match between the Vancouver Whitecaps FC and the Chicago Fire on July 01, 2017, at Toyota...

Have something to tell us about this article?

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch