Rangers defender James Sands has had a rather difficult time since moving to Ibrox on loan back in January.
The American international has been in and out of the starting lineup, mostly being used as a utility player by manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst, making the most of his ability to play both as a centre-back or holding midfielder.
However, in the second leg against Union Saint-Gilloise, Sands began to show what he can bring to the table as a ball-playing defender. Not everything went right for the 22-year-old but he did have some standout moments. Supporters on Twitter have been discussing the player’s progress following what was arguably his most eye-catching performance in a Gers shirt:
The 3 stray passes were absolute howlers that nearly cost us
— Kevin (@Spartacus1965) August 13, 2022
Considering he prefers playing DM, think he’s being growing in confidence after a shaky start. Would like to see us make the loan permanent.
— 🐺Angelus🐺 (@AngelusB4) August 13, 2022
I thought the boy had a really good game. Bit slack in possession at times but he’s young. Really good player
— Paul Mackay 💙 (@paulmackay73) August 13, 2022
He’s a good player, long term replacement for Jack
— giovanni van staunchhorst (@tailsy2) August 13, 2022
People will always focus on the negative and he did give away possession in dangerous areas on numerous occasions but overall I thought he was very good and will be a good utility player for us this season in both CB and DM when needed
— Peter Adam (@petera1872) August 13, 2022
I’m his biggest fan, and loved the performance but there are no excuses for some of the slack passing at the level we compete at. Having said this, I do believe he has the attributes to improve and crack on to become more prominent for us.
— Jase (@jaznism) August 13, 2022
I thought he was immense against USG. He is a very good defender with a lot of potential. Almost feel like another Bassey situation where he improves game by game. I’m very impressed.
— Sem (@SemajBmal) August 13, 2022
Sands is a decent player
— Scott Mitchell (@1993scottrm) August 13, 2022
Sands didn’t feature in the game against St Johnstone, which suggests he may well have been saved for the clash versus PSV on Tuesday night. If he is named in the eleven for the Champions League clash, it would be a tremendous show of faith from van Bronckhorst.
Rangers do have an option to buy Sands, but he still has a lot of work to do if he wants to convince those at the club he is worth signing on a permanent basis.