Rangers have been drawn against Belgian side Royal Antwerp in the last 32 of Europa League.
The Gers went into Monday’s draw as one of the seeded teams after winning Group D ahead of Benfica.
Elsewhere, the Portuguese giants were drawn against Premier League opposition in the form of Arsenal.
Following the draw, The Athletic’s Jordan Campbell raised a brilliant point about what could have been for the Gers.
If Rangers had finished second in their group behind Benfica they’d be playing Arsenal.
Their individual quality may have been too much in the end but Rangers’ European style would have made it a very interesting tie.
— Jordan Campbell (@JordanC1107) December 14, 2020
While Rangers supporters might be glad to avoid Arsenal at this stage of the competition, an opportunity to face the underperforming Gunners would have been a great test for this side.
It would have pitted two teams together who are at completely opposite ends of the form table, with Mikel Arteta under pressure in London.
A great move by Gerrard
The way the draw played out highlighted the importance of winning the group and showcased why Gerrard was right to name a relatively strong squad in what could have been viewed as a ‘dead-rubber’ against Lech Poznan.
While Arsenal are struggling this season – the Gunners are only five points off the relegation zone in the Premier League – they do have a tremendous amount of individual quality running through their squad.
Couple that with Rangers’ poor record against English opposition – winning three form 14 – and the Royal Antwerp tie suddenly looks very appealing on paper.
It could have been a great opportunity to face a Premier League side in Europe. It is something that has not happened since the 2010 Champions League meetings with Manchester United.
Gerrard himself would have also no doubt relished the opportunity to take on a Premier League manager and perhaps that opportunity will come further down the line with much more than a place in the Round 16 on the line.
In other Rangers news, ‘Let’s go’, ‘We’re through’ – These Rangers fans delighted with ‘easy’ EL draw