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Brilliant Davis will lift Rangers to another level, says Northern Ireland forward


Class acts: Steven Davis celebrates with Josh Magennis
Class acts: Steven Davis celebrates with Josh Magennis
Davis and Lafferty on international duty

By Julian Taylor

Josh Magennis insists a Rangers return for "absolutely brilliant" Steven Davis would be a major coup for the Premiership chasing side.

Former Light Blues captain Davis, 34, is on the brink of another stint in Glasgow, where he enjoyed a trophy-laden spell between 2008-2012, before financial difficulties and administration affected the Ibrox club.

Southampton will allow the Northern Ireland skipper to leave St Mary's, with Davis poised to become to the first signing for Rangers boss Steven Gerrard in this month's transfer window.

And international team-mate Magennis echoes the general positivity over the imminent swoop. Midfield guru Davis is expected to join up with the Gers at their winter break training camp in Tenerife next week.

"I think if you asked every single Rangers fan 'Would you like to see Steven Davis back at your football club?' then they would say yes," Magennis declared. "Would he improve their team? Massively. Would he push Steven Gerrard's team on to another level? I have no doubt that he will.

"He's probably the best player I have ever played with when he's at full tilt, especially during that memorable Euro 2016 campaign with Northern Ireland. It's unfortunate he lost his place at Southampton but regimes change, sometimes you're in and sometimes you're out.

"Would he be a fit for any team? For me, definitely yes. But what is most important for Davo at the moment is considering the best thing for him and his family and where he is really going to enjoy playing again. That's probably the biggest attraction when it comes to Rangers.

"It would be brilliant for him if he returns there (Ibrox) and enjoys his football.

"He knows he can play there week in, week out. The most important thing for Davo is to be playing regularly."

Davis may have won 107 Northern Ireland caps and is an established legend with the Green and White Army but Bolton Wanderers forward Magennis - who played north of the border with both Aberdeen and Kilmarnock - feels there is still plenty left in the tank of the Cullybackey native.

"He's showed consistently when he is with Northern Ireland why he has been playing at a high level in the Premier League," added Magennis.

"He's so industrious and it's easy to see why he's won so many international caps. He's just absolutely brilliant.

"Most people understand and appreciate his ability but maybe there are still those who don't understand exactly how good he is, which is strange when you think about it considering how many caps he has won.

"When you play with someone of Steven's quality it is something to genuinely appreciate and, as a player, your own game comes on leaps and bounds too.

"That will also be great for the other Rangers players, something that Steven Gerrard has no doubt thought about.

"I hope he gets it all sorted so he will be happy. When he's playing domestically he then goes on and fires on all cylinders for Northern Ireland too."

Meanwhile, Magennis has urged his Northern Ireland strike partner Kyle Lafferty to be patient amid his stop-start spell since rejoining Rangers from Hearts during the summer.

With four goals in 20 games Lafferty has found it difficult to make a consistent impact at Ibrox due to the terrific form of 20 goal Alfredo Morelos, especially with Gerrard preferring to operate with two wide men to assist the Colombian live wire.

"When you're at Rangers and you're a bit behind Alfredo Morelos who is their best player and is on fire at the minute then it can be tricky," explained Magennis.

"When you do get a chance you're expected to score. But sometimes, as a striker you might not score but still have a good game.

"Having seen Kyle play for Rangers on TV recently I think he's been good, but when Morelos is in such fine form it would be difficult for anyone to get back in the team.

"However, I don't have any doubt Kyle will feature again and be an important player for Rangers.

"He's a top class scorer and I've seen him do it internationally and at club level.

"It's probably just the waiting game more than anything else for him at the moment."

Belfast Telegraph


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