Just a day after arriving at the club, Steven Gerrard has defended Kyle Lafferty and his past.
The Northern Irishman signed from Hearts on Wednesday afternoon, and became Gerrard’s 12 summer signing since arriving at Ibrox.
It’s now Lafferty’s second spell at the club, after an incident filled first between 2008 and 2012. The former Burnley and Norwich City striker had his fair share of misdemeanours during those years. This involved infamously feigning injury to get Charlie Mulgrew sent off in a league match at Ibrox.
The striker also had a bust-up with former manager Ally McCoist. This ultimately saw his time at the club come to a bitter end as he left for FC Sion when the club went into liquidation.
However, speaking to the Daily Record this morning, Gerrard denies this has any relevance these days, and praised his new forward’s maturity
We’re all human beings and we all make mistakes, I’ve made plenty. But with age and experience we mature. I have no problem with players who play on the edge and now and again get it wrong. I’ll stick with those players all the time. I’d rather be surrounded by players who want to give you everything they’ve got and now and again get it wrong than players who are just not capable of playing on the edge and on a consistent basis for a top club.
There’s no denying that Lafferty has improved in both quality and mentality since his first Rangers spell.
The 30-year-old played a big part in Hearts’ revival under Craig Levein over the last two seasons. This has led to four goals against Celtic in his last five meetings against Brendan Rodgers’ men.
Added to this, the big forward has managed to keep himself outside of the front pages. This shows that Gerrard is spot on about Lafferty’s maturity.
The problem the Rangers manager now has is trying to fit his new striker into the side. With the form of Alfredo Morelos on everyone’s lips, it’ll be interesting to see whether Lafferty plays alongside or battles with Morelos for the jersey.