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Can't wait to get started: Steven Davis completes Rangers loan move on day Defoe arrives at Ibrox

Steven Davis
Steven Davis
Steven Davis.

Northern Ireland captain Steven Davis has joined Rangers on a six-month loan deal.

The move was completed just hours after former England striker Jermain Defoe finalised an temporary 18-month move to Ibrox.

On Saturday, Northern Ireland winger Jordan Jones and Dundee midfield Glen Kamara both signed pre-contract agreements at the club.

Southampton midfielder Davis was a popular figure during a previous spell at Rangers, making over 200 appearances across four years, during which he won eight major trophies, including three league titles.

"He has previously captained the club and been captain for his country and Southampton, so we welcome yet another leader into our dressing room," said manager Steven Gerrard.

“Steven is yet another fantastic addition to our squad, we are delighted to welcome him back to the club.

“He is vastly experienced at both club and international level and knows the club, the fans and the demands that come with wearing the Rangers jersey very well."

Director of Football Mark Allen added: “Everyone at the club welcomes Steven back to Rangers.

“He has been on our radar for some time and becomes the fourth transfer that we have confirmed this window already. We are delighted that he will be able to join his teammates and get started straight away."

Midfield guru Davis will now join up with the Gers, included NI team-mates Gareth McAuley and Kyle Lafferty, at their winter break training camp in Tenerife. Another of his international team-mates Josh Magennis, who scored a hat-trick for Bolton on Saturday, echoes the general positivity over the swoop.

"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, speaking before the deal was completed. "Would he improve their team? Massively. Would he push Steven Gerrard's team on to another level? I have no doubt that he will.

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Back to the future: Davis played for Rangers from 2008-12

"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."

Davis has started just a single Premier League game for Southampton this season. He could make his first appearance in his second spell at Rangers against Cowdenbeath in the Scottish Cup on January 18.

The arrival of former England striker Defoe, a scorer of 162 Premier League goals, is another huge boost for Gerrard's men, who for the first time in a number of years are in a legitimate title tussle.

Locked level on points with Celtic, Rangers are in with a real chance and Gerrard described Defoe's signing as "a great addition to our dressing room".

Defoe has scored goals wherever he has played, 273 of them in a club career taking in the likes of West Ham, Tottenham, Sunderland and Portsmouth.

"I'm delighted to be able to welcome Jermain to Rangers. He is an exceptionally talented striker and vastly experienced footballer who has scored goals at every club he has played for," Gerrard said.

"We look forward to integrating him into the squad whilst we work in Tenerife over the next week."

Defoe is the seventh-highest scorer in the history of the Premier League and sixth in the history of Tottenham.

Not only has he won admirers for his football - he scored 20 goals for England too - he has earned praise for his off-the-field behaviour, in particular his friendship with Bradley Lowery, a Sunderland fan who died aged six after a long battle with neuroblastoma.

Defoe was awarded an OBE for his charity work in 2018.

"It's really helpful to get work on this front done early in the transfer window because it means we should be able to hit the ground running after the winter break. I believe that is vitally important," Rangers director of football Mark Allen added.

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