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Steven Davis excited to play for 'icon' Gerrard as Rangers squad number revealed

 

By Steven Beacom

Northern Ireland skipper Steven Davis has revealed he is relishing the opportunity to work with 'icon' Steven Gerrard following his move to Rangers.

Davis also pointed out that once he heard the Glasgow giants were keen to sign him his heart was set on a return to Ibrox.

The midfielder, who turned 34 on New Year's Day, has joined Rangers on a six-month loan deal from Southampton and trained with his new team-mates for the first time yesterday at the club's winter training camp in Tenerife.

Given the No.10 jersey, the prospect of playing under manager Gerrard, who has transformed the mood among Rangers supporters this season, was too good to miss.

Davis played against Liverpool legend Gerrard many times in the Premier League. Now, he wants to help him bring success to Rangers, who are level on points with big rivals Celtic at the top of the Scottish Premiership.

Speaking about Gerrard, Cullybackey-born Davis said: "He is an icon for any young player coming up and likewise for myself. I'm sure I'll learn a lot from him and he's obviously done a fantastic job in the six months he has been here.

“There seems to be a real good camaraderie within the squad and I’m looking forward to getting to know the boys a bit more this week.

“It’s a good introduction for me and then we’ll get back to Scotland and start the games.”

Davis added that he was excited to return to his boyhood club where he enjoyed so much success between 2008 and 2012 in his first spell, winning every domestic trophy multiple times and playing a key role in the team’s memorable run to the 2008 Uefa Cup final.

“I’m delighted to be back. It’s been a little while in the making but when I found out the club was interested, this is the one that I wanted to happen,” he told Rangers TV.

“I found out there was interest a little while back and talks were ongoing between the two clubs to try and come to a conclusion.

“And then, when the decision is made, it all happens very quickly; so obviously I’m delighted to get it agreed and I was straight on the flight to get out here.

“It’s great to be back and I am obviously very familiar with the club. I’m sure there will be plenty of faces I recognise as I go along and I’m looking forward to getting back out at Ibrox.”

The move will be welcomed by Northern Ireland boss Michael O’Neill, who is keen to see Davis play regular football again ahead of the Euro 2020 qualifiers after being on the sidelines too often over the past year at Southampton.

Davis, who has won 107 caps, joins international pals Gareth McAuley and Kyle Lafferty at the club and Kilmarnock winger Jordan Jones will move to Rangers in the summer after agreeing a four year pre-contract.

Meanwhile, Northern Ireland Under-21 ace Bobby Burns has returned to Hearts after an impressive loan spell at Livingston.

He will be joined at Tynecastle by Conor Shaughnessy, who was signed on loan from Leeds United yesterday as defender Jimmy Dunne left the club.

Manager Craig Levein had been hoping to extend Dunne’s loan spell from Burnley but the 21-year-old has returned to England.

However, Levein moved swiftly to replace the centre-back, who won a Republic of Ireland call-up during an impressive 14-game stint.

Shaughnessy (22) has joined until the end of the season and comes with a similar pedigree to Dunne among the Irish youth set-up.

The former Reading trainee — the brother of St Johnstone defender Joe Shaughnessy — made 14 appearances for Leeds last season before a season-ending injury but he has only featured once, in an EFL Cup tie, this term.

Czech striker David Vanecek has also arrived in the Scottish capital on an 18-month deal.

The 27-year-old signed a pre-contract deal in the summer and his FK Teplice contract has now expired.

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