Championship

Profit Players: Gareth McAuley

Profit Players: Gareth McAuley

Rangers supporters have been in fine voice in recent times after seeing their side reach the summit of the Scottish Premiership with victory at the weekend.

Steven Gerrard’s men went into their clash with fellow high-flyers Hearts having won each of their preceding three league matches, and having not tasted defeat since their 1-0 reverse at Livingston back in September. And the Light Blues made it four victories on the spin with a 2-1 success at Tynecastle on Sunday, with goals from Connor Goldson and Alfredo Morelos inspiring the visitors to top spot in the division for the first time under Gerrard’s stewardship.

As such, there have been many buoyant Gers fans up and down the country in recent times, with defender Gareth McAuley in particular coming in for praise after yet another commanding display in the heart of the Rangers backline on Sunday.

The 39-year-old left West Brom at the expiration of his contract during the summer, allowing Gerrard to snap him up on a free transfer – and given how the Rangers boss has been able to get the best out of the centre back, he is certainly showing the Baggies the error of their ways.

Ultimately, the Northern Ireland international was an outstanding servant to West Brom in his seven years at the Hawthorns, appearing 227 times in all competitions for the Baggies, and playing a key part in helping establish them as a Premier League side.

Yet a lack of regular football last term, alongside an expiring contract, meant it was always likely that he would leave the Midlands outfit on a free during the summer, enabling new Rangers chief Gerrard to swoop in and lure the centre back to Ibrox.

And that is proving to be an inspired decision as, while McAuley missed the first few months due to injury, he has since played his part in three successive Scottish Premiership victories for the Gers, in which time they have shipped just two goals.

And given there were defensive concerns earlier in the campaign, it’s plainly obvious that the 39-year-old has played a vital role in helping to shore up that leaky backline – what Darren Moore’s West Brom, who have kept just one clean sheet all season, would do for an influential figure like that now.

Yes, at the age of 39, there is little doubting that McAuley’s best football is behind him, but he has shown recently that he still has plenty to offer at a high level – he looks set to play a key role for Rangers, both on and off the pitch, in their title march.

And with Moore’s Baggies struggling to keep the ball out of their net in the Championship this season, Gerrard’s inspired call to bring McAuley to Ibrox is very much showing West Brom the error of their ways.

Rangers and West Brom fans… what do you think? Let us know!

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