We’re delighted to welcome former Rangers manager Alex McLeish as our exclusive columnist. Each week he’ll be giving his views on the biggest talking points at Ibrox…

Alex McLeish has shared his verdict on Rangers defender James Tavernier being forced off injured in the 4-3 victory at Royal Antwerp.

Steven Gerrard has since confirmed that his captain will be missing for weeks rather than days, and could miss numerous games at Ibrox.

McLeish has claimed that it is “very rare” to see Tavernier struggling, and this will be a huge test for the Bears squad during his absence.

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Speaking exclusively to Ibrox News, McLeish said, “I don’t think it will derail Rangers, but it is a test of the squad.

“When you lose a key player, as we know Tavernier is a key player and he’s earned that tag because of his fantastic play going forward and getting goals.

“Also, his defensive play and his prowess in that department as well. There’s no doubt he’s a talisman.

“That is a blow. When you see him coming off, it’s very rare.”

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Tavernier may not have been at his best recently, but he has still had a phenomenal season in this incredible run in all competitions.

The Gers clearly have a problem at right-back now, with Nathan Patterson also self-isolating after breaching COVID-19 protocols this week.

Leon Balogun has played there before, and it is down to the Nigerian international to prove he can fill that gap, not only defensively but going forward too.

This could be a defining spell.

In other Rangers news, Alex McLeish lauds return of Scott Arfield against Royal Antwerp

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