Scott Arfield: Joey Barton sold me on Rangers move

Scott Arfield says Joey Barton, centre, praised the Ibrox set-up. Picture: PA.
Scott Arfield says Joey Barton, centre, praised the Ibrox set-up. Picture: PA.
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Scott Arfield says Joey Barton played a significant role in his switch from Burnley to Rangers last week.

Barton was the marquee signing in the summer of 2016 but he was effectively booted out after he undermined Mark Warburton in the fall-out of the 5-1 defeat at Celtic Park only ten weeks into his Ibrox career.

However, having been team-mates at Burnley, Arfield turned to Barton for advice when he heard Rangers were in the market.

Barton, who takes over as boss of Fleetwood Town next month, was nothing but glowing in his praise of the Ibrox club despite his very indifferent experience.

Arfield, who has signed a four-year deal with Rangers after leaving the Clarets, said: “I spoke to Joe. He told me fully, 100 per cent, to go for it and take this opportunity.

“I understand that he left here on bad terms but he certainly doesn’t bad-mouth the club in any way.

“He was full of encouragement about everything. How the place is run, the training ground, the fans, the stature of the club.

“I picked his brains because I am good mates with Joe and I wanted to get his version on things. He rubberstamped this as the best move for me.”

Barton’s move to Rangers might have been ultimately disastrous but Arfield feels sure he can make a major impact in the Steven Gerrard revolution. Allan McGregor was brought back on a two-year deal while Jamie Murphy’s permanent switch from Brighton was also confirmed on Friday when he penned a three-year contract.

And there are expected to be a host of new names arriving in the coming weeks with as many as 11 players departing.

Arfield knows the spotlight will be on all of the Rangers players as Gerrard rebuilds the side but believes he can handle it.

He said: “I obviously know that side of it is going to be under more scrutiny, so I had to make sure how to deal with it.

“It’s not just me signing for Glasgow Rangers. It’s everyone associated with me, so everyone has to be on the same page to make it successful on the pitch.

“I lived 40 miles away from Burnley. I still lived in my house in Huddersfield.

“I wasn’t playing for them again, so they [Huddersfield fans] weren’t directly interested as Huddersfield have now gone on to better things themselves.

“You quickly get forgotten and that was nice for me.

“Obviously, it becomes a different pressure because up here now is a different thing, but I’m at that stage of my life where I fully expect that.

“I won’t be caught in the headlights. Loads of people down in England don’t realise how big football is up here, but I feel quite secure in my thinking that I know how life is probably going to change.

“Hopefully, it is going to change for the better.”