The confirmation Rangers have lost Scott Arfield until effectively early Spring after Steven Gerrard admitted he was out for up to 6 weeks is one hell of a blow, the midfielder sustaining a very bad ankle injury.
Arfield has been a complete lynchpin of Rangers’ title pursuit, and while others around him have come in and out of form over varying periods this season, he’s been one of the few absolute guarantees to deliver a shift on 99% of occasions.
So losing that reliability, that leadership up front, that link play between midfield and attack and his sheer graft off the ball is not completely unlike the loss of Steven Naismith back in 2011 which in part cost Rangers the title.
The importance of both players in their respective eras cannot be understated.
The difference though is that even in Arfield’s absence Rangers are still winning – that comfortable win in Paisley then the epic v Celtic whereas once Naismith was gone in October 2011, Rangers caved immediately and won just two of the following four matches.
In short, Arfield might be Rangers’ best overall player, but there is the quality of depth in this squad to cover him, whereas there was nothing left in the squad to fill in the gap Naismith left behind back in the day.
We can clearly anticipate many more appearances from the likes of Hagi and Aribo, not to mention Jordan Jones being drafted in, because of course, as you will also know, Kemar Roofe will be out for two or three matches as well.
Having to fall back on a Northern Ireland international, a Romanian international and a Nigerian international is not a bad place to be in, and while we will miss Arfield and Roofe, there is the squad there to fill in.