Rangers manager Steven Gerrard believes the loan deal struck for Andy King with Leicester City after the Midtjylland game can add to the growing optimism around the Ibrox club.
Gerrard recognised his team are “in a good place” following an outstanding first hour against Danes FC Midtjylland that secured a 3-1 second leg victory, and sent them through as 7-3 aggregate winners to a Europa League play-off against Legia Warsaw, with the first leg in the Polish capital next Thursday.
It was a fourth win on the spin in a season that has seen them plundering goals. The Rangers manager believes the addition of King can only further enhance their prospects.
Gerrard said he did not speak to Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers over the season-long move for the 30-year-old Welsh international – who featured for his country in the Euro 2016 semi-final and helped the Foxes win the Premier League that year – but he thanked the Midlands club for covering the financial differentials that would have ordinarily made him an earner out of Rangers’ reach.
“It is just over the line. That is why I am late. I was waiting on the nod. [I got it at] quarter past ten,” he said of King who was in attendance at Ibrox on Thursday night.
“It is more positive news. The opportunity to get Andy King came up in the last 24 hours and I jumped at the chance for numerous reasons. He is a winner, a Premier League winner. He has had numerous caps at international level.
"Over the course of the last 14 months I have been trying to build a squad but a lot of the guys are very young – they need leadership and guidance in the dressing room. So it was a no-brainer. Financially, as well, it made total sense. It is a season-long loan. I think Leicester have got a call back on it.
“I think he can do numerous jobs in the middle of the pitch. He can play like a Steven Davis, if you like, and control games with his passing. He can go box to box, he can play either side of a holder, left or right. I said in pre-season I was wanting two strong players for every position.
"In the midfield area I had five but as of quarter past ten I have six now and I am delighted. He is hungry to play, he got an injury last year which frustrated him a lot. I spoke to him and he understands he has to work hard. But for the club and myself it is positive news.”
Gerrard proved cute when asked about an incident between him and former Celtic defender Erik Sviatchenko at full-time.
As the pair walked down the tunnel, the Rangers manager made a “zip it” gesture to the visitors’ captain.
“I just wished him all the best for the remainder of the season,” Gerrard said with tongue firmly in cheek. “He had obviously been speaking quite a lot through the media over where he is from. So it was just a little send-off for him.”