It was a surprise to many when Rangers allowed Daniel Candeias to leave in the summer.
Due mainly to his work rate and general commitment to the cause, the Portuguese was a firm Ibrox favourite, who made a whopping 52 appearances across 2018/19.
However, after recruiting the likes of Sheyi Ojo, Brandon Barker and Jordan Jones, Gerrard clearly could no longer guarantee him that sort of playing time.
Things didn’t start overly well in the Turkish Super Lig. Seven games into the season, his new club Genclerbirligi were winless at the foot of the table. Over that time, Candeias had failed to score and registered just one assist.
However, the international break appears to have done he and his teammates the world of good.
They returned to form dramatically against Antalyaspor on Saturday, recording a crushing 6-0 victory on the road and the 31-year-old was the architect in chief.
He wasted no time stamping his authority on the game, scoring in the first minute of the league contest. On 13 minutes, he played in Giovanni Sio, who made it 2-0, before grabbing his second of the game after 21 minutes.
21. dakika itibarıyla Candeias⬇️
🅰️1 asist pic.twitter.com/h96QDO8YPm
— Dugout Türkiye 🇹🇷 (@DugoutTR) October 19, 2019
Shortly after the third went in, the wheels well and truly fell off for the hosts, with Bahadir Ozturk picking up a red card.
That development allowed the mauling to continue unchecked and Candeias would complete his hat-trick and once again provide an assist for Sio before the first half was out.
⭐ Antalya'da Daniel Candeias şov!
⚽ Gençlerbirliği'nin Portekizli yıldızı Candeias, Antalyaspor karşısında 3 gol ve 2 asiste imza attı. pic.twitter.com/du8HFzbV8c
— beIN SPORTS Türkiye (@beINSPORTS_TR) October 19, 2019
Things were a little less crazy in the second half, but Bogdan Stancu rounded off the scoring with his team’s sixth.
A stunning individual performance from Candeias, then, who inspired his new club to their first win of the season, in emphatic style.