Rangers influence Aaron Ramsey increases as Juventus loanee delivers scintillating verdict on 3 Ibrox youngsters


The experienced Wales international has not featured much on the pitch but he is trying to help out the club’s young talent.

Jermain Defoe is loved by his Rangers team-mates for his influence off the pitch and the goals he has scored there.

Chances are, Aaron Ramsey has contributed in a similar way this season, even if the injury he sustained during his two months at Ibrox has kept him confined to just two starters since his arrival in the closing hours of the January transfer window.

However, the Welshman’s second-half performance, against Dundee in Sunday’s 3-0 Scottish Cup win, will suggest that Ramsey will play a more important role in the climax of the season.

Rangers have eight league games remaining, are in the last four of the Cup and have a great chance of progressing to the Europa League quarter-finals if they finish the task against Red Star in Belgrade on Thursday.

Assuming a 3-0 lead in the first leg is enough, it means a minimum of a dozen important games, including Thursday’s, for the Juventus midfielder to finally make his mark on the grass.

On the training ground, however, it looks like his influence is already being measured by the progress made by a trio of young midfielders who could become the engine room of the future.

Rangers ended the game at Dens with 21-year-old James Sands, Charlie McCann (19) and Alex Lowry (18) in the middle of the park.

Sands started the game, operating in a similar fashion to recent John Lundstram, while the teenagers came in with a game that effectively won but made a positive impact with Lowry setting up Fashion Sakala for the third goal.

Sand efficient and effective. Statistics show his passing success rate is 91 percent and he won 11 of his 14 challenges on deck and in the air.

He may not have the attractive McCann or Lowry talents, but Van Bronckhorst is more likely to use them and he has featured in 37 games this season for former clubs New York City and Rangers, suggesting that former Celtic boss Ronny Deila – now in charge of the MLS outfit – rate him as highly as Van Bronckhorst.

And Ramsey also believes that young Americans have a big future in the game.

“James has done very well and he has adapted,” he said. “He stuck, moved and he did well against Dundee.

We have a great group here and they make it easy for people to adapt.”

Asked about McCann and Lowry’s emergence, Ramsey added: “You get a lot of good players coming at a big club like this.

“It’s very important to have competition among ourselves.

“It’s great for the young players to come in and show what they can do. We have a lot of talented players here.”

Manager agrees. Van Bronckhorst told Rangers TV: “For James it is a big change and he comes after playing one season in MLS.

“It’s a different way of playing but he’s shown Dundee what he can do.

“The pass was good and he spread the game with Ryan Jack so I’m happy with his performance.

“Also, it was a good assist from Alex.

Sands believes he is adapting and learning every day, acknowledging that Ramsey and Ryan Jack were huge influences.

He said: “It is an understanding that in Scottish football you have so many different types of play. The games you play on Ibrox are very different from the games you play away from home.