It was his 'dream' move, but Gerrard signing has endured an Ibrox nightmare...
Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

End of Season Report: Gareth McAuley

Moving quickly on from James Tavernier, we take a look at Gareth McAuley.
There could scarcely be a greater contrast in terms of the fortunes of two players.
From a near ever-present to a player who struggled to get going at all.

McAuley partnered Goldson in Vienna, in one of only two Europa League outings. (Photo by Josef Bollwein/SEPA.Media /Getty Images)

Esteemed Northern Ireland international, McAuley, called his September switch to Rangers a ‘dream’ move.
Having been released by West Brom the then 38-year-old looked a perfect fit for Gerrard’s Rangers revolution – a vastly experienced Premier League player, available on a free.

With the club bringing in four new centre-backs ahead of the 2018-19 season, plenty may have thought McAuley would occupy one spot and the others would scrap it out to be his partner.
In reality, it was very different. During the closing stages of the season, McAuley was quite clearly the fourth choice.
He arrived with a bothersome calf problem and unlike for the vast majority of his career, injuries would prove a real issue.

The 6ft 4″ defender turned out just four times at Ibrox. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Any time he got a go at the back, he looked desperately short of match sharpness. His situation was somewhat similar to Steven Davis’. Only, in his case, niggles prevented him from getting the run he needed to eventually get up to speed.
Nine first-team appearances and just one since the turn of the year, speaks to a fairly nightmarish experience.
Unfortunately, he’s unlikely to get another chance either. The deal he signed in September was for just the one year, and therefore, he’ll soon be a free agent again.
Much of his strife was beyond his control, but, as a proud professional, I doubt even he would argue he’s deserving of a contract extension.
The fact of the matter is, McAuley has had an excellent career, but he made little to no impact at Ibrox.

Half-Term Grade: C+

End of Season Grade: C-

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