Ryan Jack had a whirlwind first season at Rangers.

First, he signed to much backlash from Aberdeen supporters. The fans of the club he once captained.

Secondly, he faced a combination of shoddy refereeing and disciplinary issues to ensure his Rangers career began stop-start.

Ryan Jack had his fair share of run-ins with referees last season. (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

And finally, he was injured in a horror challenge by Motherwell’s Cedric Kipre last December that kept him out until the new season.

It’s fair to say he’s had it tough – but it’s only made the combative Scotsman stronger.

A new season brings new opportunities

After being rested against Kilmarnock in the 3-1 win at the weekend, the 26-year-old is set to take centre stage once again at Ibrox.

His energetic, resourceful performances so far this season have earned him the plaudits of manager Steven Gerrard. The legendary ex-Liverpool midfielder was even quoted as saying he was jealous of Jack’s performance against Osijek.

Ryan Jack is a key part of Gerrard’s team and, make no mistake, he will have a big role to play in Thursday’s match. Jack seems to relish loud matches at Ibrox and Thursday night’s tie will be no different.

Ryan Jack has started this season superbly and looks a very well-rounded, combative yet creative player in the middle of the park. (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)

A maturing figure who will only get better

At 26, Jack still has room to develop his game. His solitary Scotland cap came in a controversial friendly with Holland at Pittodrie, but there’s little doubt he’ll add to them this season.

Under the stewardship of Gerrard Jack has also been going about his game’s quietly. He’s not getting involved in needless bust-ups and recycling the ball superbly.

He looks more mature as both a man and as a player.

Ryan Jack won’t just be a key figure in Thursday night’s match with FC Ufa.

He is one of the key players in Gerrard’s team and fast-becoming one of the first name’s on the teamsheet.

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