Giovanni van Bronckhorst must not play Fashion Sakala as the ‘lone frontman’ against RB Leipzig on Thursday, journalist Andy Newport has warned.
Van Bronckhorst deployed Sakala in a right-sided berth in a 4-2-3-1 formation against Celtic on Sunday.
The £3.6million-rated Zambian came under fire during the first 45 minutes at Parkhead, with The Athletic’s Jordan Campbell tweeting that he wasn’t ‘keeping the ball well enough’ and Sky Sports commentator Ally McCoist branding him ‘really poor’.
However, it was his goal that salvaged a draw for Rangers midway through the second half.
The Gers have now turned their attention to the second leg of their Europa League semifinal against Leipzig as they look to turn the tie around after a 1-0 defeat last week.
Asked as part of The Daily Record’s Monday Jury whether Sakala should start against Leipzig, Newport replied: “Perhaps, but certainly not as the lone frontman.”
Sakala ‘proved again’ during what was a ‘pretty rotten first half’ display on Sunday that he’s currently ill-equipped to ‘play with his back to goal’.
On the other hand, ‘he can be a threat’ if he’s ‘given space from the wide areas’.
Sakala was named on the bench for the first leg in Germany, coming on for the final 21 minutes.
He failed to make much of an impact in his cameo, losing possession five times despite only recording eight touches.
It’s difficult to know where the £8,300-per-week man stands after the Old Firm. Was his goal enough to paper over the cracks that were visible in the first half?
Sakala has scored 11 goals and provided five assists in his first season at the club but clearly there are concerns over his all-round forward play.
If Rangers fail to make it through on Thursday, they may be left wondering what might have been had Morelos, their top scorer, stayed fit.
In other news, read this former Gers boss’ verdict on Josh McPake.
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