By Ben Wild

7th Oct, 2020 | 10:40am

McCarthy: I told Rangers to sign this 'Fantastic footballer'

Benni McCarthy has said that he recommended Rangers sign Bongani Zungu when he was asked by Gers coach Michael Beale about his countryman.

Zungu signed for Rangers on loan from French side Amiens on deadline day, following a glowing recommendation from former South African international McCarthy.

Speaking to the Scottish Sun, the former Blackburn forward said he told Michael Beale that Zungu ‘is a fighter’ and that ‘Rangers have got themselves a fantastic footballer’.

McCarthy said: “They had a good idea of what kind of player he was and wanted my opinion on him as well. I told them they’d be getting a real good one if they signed him. Not only is Zungu a great player, he is a fighter. I’ve watched him blossom over the last few years and Rangers have got themselves a fantastic footballer.

“He is the complete midfielder, very comfortable on the ball and so strong in the tackle. He can play as a defensive midfielder too because he is so good at cleaning up. But he also offers you an attacking threat and he can score goals.

“He will definitely improve Rangers and make them more effective. I think he will be absolutely fine with the physicality of Scottish football. He usually wears No 8 like Gerrard and while he is not the same kind of player he is hugely effective. I believe working with Gerrard will also help him as he is one of the best No8s there has ever been.”

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The signing of Zungu has bolstered Steven Gerrard’s midfield options as he looks to guide the Gers through a congested season of both domestic and European football.

He joins Glen Kamara, Scott Arfield, Steven Davis, Ryan Jack and Joe Aribo as potential midfield options at Ibrox. With Gerrard using a midfield trio in his starting eleven this season every player should get a decent amount of game time.

Early season injuries to Jack and Aribo perhaps exposed the Gers need for new blood in the centre of their midfield and the signing of Zungu looks to have fixed that issue.

After the international break Rangers will take on Celtic in the first Old Firm game of the season, in what could be a baptism of fire for Gerrard’s new man. Although former South Africa manager Stuart Baxter has said that Old Firm games ‘won’t faze’ Zungu, should he make his first Gers outing against the Hoops.

In other Rangers news, Ibrox View: Rangers reportedly plot raid for free agent, player would bring big touch of class.