There’s a few bits of buzz going on right now over the future of a number of Rangers player who will be out of contract in the summer. The likes of Allan McGregor and Jermain Defoe’s deals end come May/June and obviously there will be consideration as to what comes next for either of those two.
But Ibrox Noise is looking at the season’s most sterling and consistent outfield performer, the midfield metronome who never suffered the post-new year lull many others did, and who’s performed such wonders this campaign that thousands of you answered a straw poll on our social media channels with an assertion that he’s an all-time great and possibly world class.
I am of course banging on about Steven Davis, and his imminently expiring deal.
The 36-year old has been, in a ‘word’, every inch that world class this season.
His calmness, his vision, his quick thinking, his astonishing passing level, and his general playmaking at all levels for Rangers not to mention his country has put him into Barry Ferguson’s bracket – that ‘regista’ as the Italians would say (deep-lying playmaker).
For years we wondered where we’d get another Barry Ferguson from, but it turned out Davo had evolved into that player all on his own.
Make no mistake, he was good first time around at Ibrox, but he suffered two problems:
One, Walter mostly played him on the right of a midfield four, in a pseudo-wing position, leaving the central for Maurice Edu and Kevin Thomson among others, with Davo only occasionally getting into the middle.
And two, as a result of this, Davis was often very quiet in matches, lacking an impact and not really making a big difference to the flow of the game.
But now, aged 36, he is a completely different player in every sense.
He dictates matches completely, comfortably dominating from the middle, and he’s at ease on the ball and rarely to never loses it.
He sees and picks out passes now in ways he never used to, plus he’s always in space and ready for a pass.
In short, the Davis who left was good, but 9 years playing in the Premier League with Southampton raised his level to extraordinary heights and now it’s not absurd to suggest he is world class as a result of that development.
On him his former boss at St Mary’s Mauricio Pochettino said:
And Rangers are benefitting from it now.
So, what do we do in the summer with a colossal midfielder like this who isn’t getting much younger?
Offer him a new deal, that’s what. Despite his advancing years, Davis has shown no signs of slowing down. He’s taken utmost care of himself and now at 36 he’s fitter and more productive than many 10 years younger.
Is he one Rangers can build a future around? No, not long term. He’s only human and in two or three years he will surely be running out of steam.
But for now, for the next 18 months to three years? Yes, he’s a player we can rely on at the level he’s currently at.
Steven Davis has earned a new deal. It’s really that simple.