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I'll arrive at Ibrox as a natural leader, says Scott Arfield

 

By Andy Newport

Scott Arfield feels he left Scotland a "wee boy" and returns a "natural leader" who is ready to meet the expectations of playing for Rangers.

The former Falkirk midfielder has signed a four-year contract at Ibrox after leaving Burnley on a high following their seventh-place finish in the Premier League.

The 29-year-old spent eight years in England with Huddersfield and the Clarets and is excited about the prospect of returning to his native land at a fascinating time for his new club.

"I left a good player, I have come back a far better player - mentally, physically," he said. "With my time in England, with promotions and relegations, it can only enhance your career.

"I think I have come back a more natural leader. I went down there almost like a wee boy.

"I fully believe I can handle the expectation at a club like this. When you come here you expect it, and I'm ready."

Arfield revealed interest from Rangers first materialised several months ago.

"As soon as interest came in, it was something I wanted to jump on," he said. "There were a few options in England that could have crept up but as soon as this magnitude of club came in, and coming back up the road appealed to me and my family, it was a no brainer.

"I have been down there for a number of years and I felt I had to come back up to a club that is only going to go on to better things. Leaving the Premier League wasn't as big a deal as it would be for other players."

Arfield's excitement intensified when he discovered Steven Gerrard was going to be his new manager.

"If you don't get excited by it, you shouldn't walk through the front door," he said. "With Gary McAllister as well, it's exciting and I'm so happy to be part of it.

"Even before the manager walks in with his No.2, Rangers have that appeal. I think it enhances it but the stature of the club was already there.

"I was lucky enough to play against him (Gerrard) and it was one of the highlights of my career. When you go down there, you want to play against the best, and he is one of the top two or three in my generation."

When asked about his memories of facing Gerrard, he said: "Getting beat, getting overrun, and I remember coming off the pitch thinking I'm not as good as I first thought."

Arfield signed the day after Rangers followed Burnley into the Europa League and the Canada international senses the teams are destined to meet.

"I said cheerio to them yesterday but I think I'll be seeing them in three weeks or something," said Arfield.

"I have played with players who overstay, and the memories get tarnished. It was the perfect time to leave."

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