International team-mate Liam Boyce insists Rangers have signed a freak in new centre-back Gareth McAuley.
McAuley, formerly of West Bromwich Albion, became the club’s 15th and final signing of the summer last week. He then went straight out onto international duty.
Boyce was also called up to the squad, and took part in the 2-0 home defeat to Bosnia in the new UEFA Nations League. It appears that the former Ross County star also sees McAuley as the model professional.
When speaking to the Daily Record this morning, Boyce confirmed how the new Gers star is a “freak”.
Gareth is a bit of a freak if I’m honest. He’s 38 and his age would suggests he’s old – but his stats for fitness and running are incredible. He obviously has that experience to know where to be and reads the game really well but he also looks after himself which will benefit Rangers. It could be a wonder move for Gers because he’s a top-quality player. I can only see him making Rangers better.
It’s not surprising to see that a team-mate of McAuley’s rates him so highly. Many in the game seem to. But coming from Boyce it means more than most.
The Northern Ireland striker had a terrific spell in Scotland with Ross County. He was a prolific finisher and came up against many a defensive-partnership during his time up north.
Therefore, Boyce knows as much as anyone about what it takes to be a success in Scottish football. Coming up against his international team-mate in training, you have to believe Boyce knows a lot about the new Gers man.
In the past, we questioned how much game-time McAuley could actually receive at Ibrox. Nikola Katic and Connor Goldson continue to tear it up together, thus leaving chances limited for McAuley and Joe Worrall.
But it appears the new-man is ready to step in and cover whenever necessary. Keeping himself at peak condition will only help Rangers when help is eventually needed.
Gerrard’s 15 new recruits have helped to make the squad a lot stronger, adding a key component in strength in depth.
This is shown in the defensive numbers. Even if he doesn’t play often, McAuley is clearly the definition of a model pro.