Rangers: Exit-bound Steven Davis talked up for possible Ibrox stay by Graeme Souness review 'first choice' claim
Steven Davis would be the “first choice” for young players to look up to as a role model at Rangers according to Graeme Souness.
The 38-year-old midfielder looks to be heading for the end of his time at Ibrox with his contract expiring in the summer while he recovers from a major knee injury.
The Northern Irishman tore his ACL just before Christmas and is very unlikely to feature again this season, with BBC Sport’s Tom English stating on 7 April he “will depart” after the campaign concludes, but former Gers player and manager Souness believes the value Davis provides in the dressing room is invaluable and Michael Beale will know that.
Souness told Belfast Live: “You can never have enough senior pros in a dressing room.
“Steven is still very much in love with football, and you would see that in his time keeping, his attitude to training and football, and his attitude around the place.
“And I am sure the manager at Rangers knows that. That’s a bad injury he has got, it is not a great injury to get any time of you career, especially when you are coming to the end of it.
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“But you can never have enough senior pros around the place, and Steven is one of those players.
“If you are a young player in the dressing room and thinking ‘who do I want to be like in 10 years’ time?’. Steven would be your first choice.”
Leadership is a quality that is so often overlooked until it is obviously missing, and one way or another it is certain that Rangers are going to lose a decent chunk of the senior presence this summer.
With the likes of Allan McGregor, Scott Arfield and possibly Ryan Jack also heading for the exit door as their contracts expire there may be fears of a vacuum in their absence.
As the oldest outfield player in the first-team squad, and coming off an injury which can threaten the careers of players many years his junior, there will understandably be major doubts over Davis’ ability to have enough impact on the pitch.
Sentimentality has to go out the window during the offseason because this Gers squad can afford to make no allowances as they look to chase down Celtic.
Beale has proven he can make this team superior to every side in Scotland except the Old Firm rivals, so every decision is going to have to be geared towards closing the gap.
Nobody would dispute the contribution Davis has made to this club across 360 appearances, so if his off-pitch influence is something the manager cannot do without there may be more scope to offering him a coaching role, while keeping him registered as an emergency option to play.
But with cash not exactly plentiful it will need to be costed into a wage bill that surely requires all the breathing room that can be found, so all in all it would be a surprise to see the long-serving veteran and model pro return once more.
In other Rangers news, yet another player is in line to leave in the next few months with a club eyeing him up.