Ayr United goal-machine Lawrence Shankland has opened up on being a Rangers fan as a youngster and admitted that Gers icon Barry Ferguson was his favourite player growing up.

Shankland has been in phenomenal form for Ayr over the last two seasons – even being linked with a move to Ibrox – and looks set to depart Somerset Park in the summer.

30th November 2018, Tannadice Park, Dundee, Scotland; Scottish Championship football, Dundee United versus Ayr United; Lawrence Shankland of Ayr United celebrates after scoring from a penalty for 4-0 in the 86th minute

(photo by David Young/Action Plus via Getty Images)

The striker lauded the former Gers skipper as a “real leader” and thinks he was “just a top player” in his pomp at Ibrox.

“Barry Ferguson was always my favourite player as a kid,” Shankland told the Scottish Sun.

DUNDEE, UNITED KINGDOM - MAY 24: Ally McCoist Lee McCulloch and Barry Ferguson of Rangers celebrate winning the Scottish Premier League trophy after the Scottish Premier League match between Dundee United and Rangers at Tanadice Park on May 24, 2009 in Dundee, Scotland.

(Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

“It was the fact he was the captain of club and country and a real leader. He was just a top player as well.”

 

Shankland has scored 33 times in 38 games this season to take his tally to 60 goals in 70 appearances since joining Ayr.

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When Ferguson was at his best at Ibrox he was among some of the best players in his position in Europe.

CASTELLO DE LA PLANA, SPAIN - MARCH 07: Barry Ferguson (R) of Rangers tackles Roman Riquelme of Villarreal during a UEFA Champions League match between Villarreal and Glasgow Rangers at the Madrigal stadium on March 7, 2006 in Castello de la Plana, Spain.

(Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)

The former Gers skipper showed his class on the biggest stage for the Gers and out-performed stars like Lothar Matthaus and Your Djorkaeff so it’s easy to see why Shankland picked him as his favourite.

The number of goals and assists Fergie created from midfield was also incredible and there’s not been a player of his class at Ibrox in midfield since he left.