Steven Gerrard has praised Rangers midfielder Steven Davis for his performance against Porto, as quoted by the Scottish Herald.
The Gers boss says he knew all about the veteran’s quality before bringing him to Ibrox.
After all, the two came up against each other many times in the Premier League, and Davis got the better of Gerrard at international level way back in 2005 when Northern Ireland defeated England in a World Cup Qualifier in Belfast.
Yet, that didn’t stop him being taken aback by the midfielder’s influential display against Porto.
“We were speaking about it as a staff on Thursday night,” he said, as quoted by the Scottish Herald. “Looking back over his career, Steven’s had some real strong international performances and played in the Premier League.”
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“But he must have been so proud of himself on Thursday, to go to a stadium like that, a stage like that, against a team who were in the last eight of the Champions League last year with the name and reputation of Porto and play so well. To run the game at 34 years of age, especially in the second half, he should be almighty proud of himself.
“He’s the total, ultimate professional. I had no doubts he could come here and do well, but he’s surprised me in terms of how robust he is, how available he’s been.”
After a stuttering start on his return to Ibrox which can be put down to a lack of match fitness, Davis has been outstanding.
At 34, you would expect most players to be clearly past their best.
Yet, although Davis has dropped deeper than in the past and hasn’t scored during his second spell with the club, he’s been ultra-consistent.
A player who always looks to have that extra half a second on the ball, he dictates the tempo for the Gers and continues to display impressive decision-making skills as well as a varied range of passing. He reads the game so well too, often tracking back to make valuable blocks and interceptions.
Ryan Jack has been pinpointed as the key man in the Gers engine room this season, but if the club are to finally secure major silverware, expect Davis to play a pivotal role too.