Steven Gerrard has praised Borna Barisic after beating St Mirren 2-0 at Ibrox on his debut.

The left-back was making his debut after arriving from NK Osijek for just under £2million last week. Taking the place of Jon Flanagan, Barisic marauded up and and down the left with real menace.

Flanagan’s switch to the right-hand side meant there was no place for James Tavernier in the side. The captain had to settle for a second-half substitute appearance.

Barisic in action on international duty (RINGO CHIU/AFP/Getty Images)

Gerrard stated that this shows that the signing of Barisic gives Rangers key options throughout their squad.

Speaking to the official club website after the straightforward three points, Gerrard spoke highly of the new-man in a satisfactory afternoon for the Ibrox side.

I thought it was a very strong debut. I think you can see quite clearly the quality he is going to bring to our left-hand side. He gives us the options to also use a back five if we want to use him as a wing-back because he is so comfortable high up the pitch. So it was a strong performance, but I was left with no choice, especially when we went to 10 men (to substitute Barisic). But it was a very strong performance and he’s going to be a good player for this football club.

As Rangers continue to impress domestically, talk of a title-challenge is beginning to materialise.

Celtic’s 1-0 defeat to Hearts at Tynecastle yesterday meant that Rangers leapfrogged them in the table by one point. It’s the first time Rangers have led Celtic in the Premiership in nearly two years.

The momentum will need to continue however, as Rangers travel to Maribor in their Europa League second-leg on Thursday night.

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