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Reborn John Lundstram shows shades of Souness, says former Rangers defender

© Craig Foy / SNS GroupJohn Lundstram in action for Rangers
John Lundstram in action for Rangers

Midfield powerhouse or defensive stalwart, John Lundstram has emerged a pivotal player at the business end of Rangers’ season.

And according to former Light Blues’ right-back, Maurice Ross, Lundstram’s recent displays mark him down as an Ibrox legend-in-the-making.

Ross believes his ex-team-mate, Giovanni van Bronckhorst, can build winning Rangers teams around the all-action Scouser for years to come.

It’s a remarkable turnaround for Lundstram, who struggled for form under Steven Gerrard and was denied a consistent run in the team following managerial change.

He signed a three-year deal after a free transfer from Sheffield United last summer.

Yet old boss Chris Wilder came calling in January to try and take Lundstram to Middlesbrough as it seemed he was surplus to requirements.

That move never transpired and, within weeks, Lundstram was exacting huge influence on the Europa League campaign.

Ross said: “He’s 28, and Rangers should be getting his best years.

“Steven Davis is kind of moving out now. Surround Lundstram with good young players, and he can be the cornerstone of a team.

“And when he’s 33, he can play centre-back every week. We’ve already seen him do that.

“It’s incredible to think there were grumblings about him and he could have left.

“Lundstram wouldn’t even pick up the phone to Middlesbrough now, would he?”

© Craig Foy / SNS Group
Referee Bobby Madden and John Lundstram and Aaron Ramsey during the Scottish Cup semi-final between Celtic and Rangers at Hampden

Lundstram’s display against today’s opponents, Celtic, earned plaudits in the Scottish Cup semi-final.

For Ross, it prompted flashbacks to one of the greatest-ever to wear the Rangers shirt.

Ross, now manager of Cowdenbeath, said: “Lundstram was strolling about the pitch like Graeme Souness!

“There’s a clip from the Rangers archives where I see Souness in an Old Firm game just turn and clip a pass out to Davie Cooper standing right on the touchline.

“I was reminded of that when Lundstram did a similar thing against Celtic, zipping one out to James Tavernier.

“The way Lundstram goes in with 100% commitment to tackle – bang – then goes calm. That’s a gift.

“Typical midfielders play with intensity all the time. So when it comes to a composed pass, they can skew it.

“Lundstram, however, goes from totally intense to completely calm in a flash.

“If you’re talking what Ryan Kent is worth, double that for Lundstram. He’s a Premier League player all day long.

Lundstram, successfully deployed at centre-half against Borussia Dortmund, dropped into defence again in Leipzig last Thursday.

For Ross, there were echoes of Dick Advocaat at his scheming best about van Bronckhorst.

“I remember Dick played Tugay as sweeper in Europe, and was deemed a tactical genius,” recalled Ross.

“Gio’s tactical nous really comes to the fore in Europe and against Celtic.”