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Rangers have struck gold by signing this Northern Irish ace and here is why he can help them end Celtic’s dominance

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Rangers have struck gold by signing Steven Davis and here is why

Rangers are strengthening their squad this winter transfer window in a bid to win the Scottish Premiership.  This has already seen the Ibrox side sign two Premier League stalwarts in Steven Davis (h/t Sky Sports) and Jermain Defoe.

The Northern Ireland national team captain is back in Glasgow for a third stint. The 34-year-old midfielder spent the second half of the 2007/08 season at the Ibrox on loan from Fulham before sealing a permanent move that summer. He spent the next four seasons with the Gers, scoring 21 goals and providing 60 assists in 200 appearances.

Davis sealed his move to south coast side Southampton in the summer of 2012 where he made 226 appearances, scoring 14 goals and setting up a further 26 goals.

Good or Bad Move?

The Ballymena-born midfielder enjoyed the most productive part of his career, in terms of statistics and titles, during his time north of the border. Although now heading into the twilight years of his career, Davis should relish playing in the Premiership again.

The last three titles Rangers won (08/09, 09/10, 10/11) came during his time at the Ibrox. He also won the League Cup twice (09/10 and 10/11). The central midfielder also won the Scottish Cup in 08/09 season. During his last season at Rangers in 2011/12, he was nominated Rangers’ and the Scottish Premiership’s Player of the Year.

The versatile midfielder mainly plays as a central midfielder but can also line up as an attacking midfielder, defensive midfielder or as a right midfielder. Capable of putting in strong defensive contributions, Davis could offer more cover to the Rangers defence.

A good passer who is able to deliver crosses into the danger area, Steven Davis can also bag goals given his penchant for taking long shots. Capped 105 times by Northern Ireland, Davis has superb concentration levels. He will be a valuable option as Gerrard chases down this season’s Premiership title.

Still Effective?

Steven Davis finds himself in similar circumstances to former England striker Defoe. He was a regular in the Premier League for the Saints the last term but has found himself surplus to requirements after falling down the pecking order in a struggling Southampton side.

However, his stats suggest he can still play at a high level when called upon. The midfielder has only played around 200 minutes of football this season and yet managed to thread in 1.45 through balls per 90 minutes which is not far off last campaign’s 1.67. It is also better than the 1.24 he averaged the season before.

Also worth noting, Davis has averaged 3.61 passes into the box per 90 minutes. This is actually better than the 2.35 and 3.12 in the 2016/17 and 2017/18 seasons respectively. The Northern Ireland captain’s key passes (passes that set up a shot for a teammate) continue to rise over the past three years. He has gone from 0.95 per 90 minutes in 2016/17 to 1.17 the last term and then 2.17 this season.

Read More: Rangers stand to gain a lot on and off the field by successfully wrapping up a loan deal for this veteran 163-goal striker

Davis has not played enough this season to draw a proper conclusion. However, from those numbers, one can conclude that he hasn’t shown a significant drop even at 34. Now, he has another shot at helping Rangers clinch the title and end their bitter rivals’ dominance.

 

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