Following on from Ryan Jack, next in our series of Rangers Half-Term Reports is the evergreen Steven Davis, who is thriving at the age of 35.
When Davis arrived on loan from Southampton for a second spell at Ibrox this time last year, he struggled to get up to speed.
Having been deprived of game time with Saints, he looked laboured and past his best.
However, when he finally managed to get a run of games under his belt, everything changed. He started putting his stamp on matches, prompting the club to tie him to a permanent deal.
This season, he’s stepped things up another notch.
The man who so often dictates the pace of games, Davis has arguably been as influential over the last few months as he’s ever been in a Rangers shirt.
Playing often in a slightly more withdrawn role than in the past, the Northern Ireland skipper’s passing range is unparalleled in the Scottish club game.
His awareness of what’s going on around him and the consistency of his decision making are other facets that set him apart from your average central midfielder. Rarely does Davis turn into trouble and rarer still, does he give up possession.
He’s made 27 appearances in all competitions and has just a solitary goal and two assists to his name. That implies that he could be doing better when he gets in and around the box. Maybe his shooting is the one aspect of his game that has dropped off, but it’s increasingly rare that he finds himself in a truly advanced position in any given game.
The £1.8m-rated midfielder’s [Transfermarkt] only goal of the season so far was a memorable one, though. His deflected strike from the edge of the area put the Gers 2-0 up against Porto in November, sending Ibrox wild.
A calf injury picked up during the 2-2 draw at Aberdeen saw him miss much of a congested December, but after a cameo outing against Kilmarnock on Boxing Day, he returned to the starting XI to great effect for the Old Firm.
Despite those weeks on the sidelines, he delivered a masterclass, helping Rangers dominate the midfield while vindicating the manager’s big selection decision [Glasgow Times].
Like a fine wine, Davis appears to just keep getting better and better. The 35-year-old has a complete understanding of his own game and the vast experience he possesses will be vital as the Gers look to push on and win the Premiership.