Gareth McAuley secured a Rangers move during the summer transfer window on a free upon leaving relegated English Premier League side West Bromwich Albion.

The defender spent seven seasons with the Baggies in the top-flight, and definitely brings a lot of valuable experience to the table.

However, injuries have prevented him from making his Rangers domestic bow, and he has had to build up match fitness with the reserve team upon returning to full fitness.

McAuley appears to be nearing his Light Blues’ domestic debut, with manager Steven Gerrard keen on handing much-deserved rest to Connor Goldson.

The ex-Brighton man has already featured in 25 games across all competitions this season, and he could suffer a burnout if he isn’t rotated wisely.

Given McAuley’s qualities, Rangers have nothing to worry about if playing him regularly becomes necessary.

Gerrard has revealed that the 38-year-old, who made his debut against Spartak Moscow, is a Rangers fan, and that he won’t have any issue with bedding in the veteran now.

“It is good to have Gareth available and I would have no problem putting him in now. Gareth’s experience can be valuable in certain situations, for sure. We know his strengths, we realise where he is in his career,” the Rangers boss told the Scottish Sun.

“He is a big Rangers fan who wanted this move. He realised it would be a squad player situation so he is professional and has been patient. There will be times we need his experience and his know-how.

“That might be from the beginning of a match or to see a game out, or against a certain opponent who might come and try to bombard us.”

Playing for Rangers would have no doubt been a childhood dream for McAuley, and fulfilling it at this age couldn’t have been more exciting.

With a lot of games still to play, the Northern Irishman will surely help the Ibrox outfit going forward this term, and that could be enough to hand him a contract extension at the end of the season.

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Alani Adefunmiloye