The versatile USA international put in a more functional performance in that number 6 position as the player complimented a more advanced John Lundstram and the creative Malik Tillman in the middle of the park.
It’s a big change from being asked to step into centre-back, where James Sands did slip up at times and looked increasingly uncomfortable as he was forced to deputise during an injury crisis.
Between now and the World Cup break, we imagine James Sands will once again be asked to play at centre-back for Rangers, but it’s that switch to midfield which has Gers fans talking.
Sands certainly looks more comfortable in that defensive midfield role and his efficient and progressive performance against the Dons had Rangers fan purring at full time.
Rangers fans split on James Sands permanent deal
It’s clear that fans are split regarding whether or not Rangers should shell out the reported £5m ($6m) transfer fee to bring the player to Ibrox in the summer.
This is the amount that Rangers will need to pay to make James Sands’ NYCFC loan deal permanent, at least according US football journalist Tom Bogert.
Signed on an 18-month loan deal last January, as James Sands approaches a year in a Rangers shirt there have been some flashes of what the player can do but nothing that for many fans justifies such meaty expenditure.
Despite this there are hopes Rangers can begin to see the best of the player in that defensive midfield role and its clear that the USA international has some convincing to do yet at Ibrox.
The performance in the thumping victory over Aberdeen was certainly a start but Rangers fans need to see more consistency before they will get on board with such a high transfer fee.
Rangers have infamously failed to spent more than £2.5m on a midfielder since the signing of Maurice Edu in 2008 and if the club is going to spend double that on another USA international in James Sands, many Gers fans are yet to be convinced it’s the right move.