Rangers may have blown Hibernian away with an emphatic 6-1 victory at Ibrox in their first Scottish Premiership match at Ibrox, but one man may have shown just how important he is to Steven Gerrard’s side without getting on the scoresheet.
Jermain Defoe, without doubt, will have earned all the plaudits for his outstanding hat-trick, whilst Alfredo Morelos secured a brace from the bench as Sheyi Ojo also got in on the act for his first goal in Scottish football (Sky Sports).
The veteran forward put the Gers ahead within the opening ten minutes and doubled their advantage just moments later before Daryl Horgan reduced the deficit, however that only seemed to put Rangers into overdrive when they came out for the second half.
Hibernian were reduced to ten men when Sean Mackie was shown a red card before Defoe completed his hat-trick. Morelos did not take long to get going as he replaced the AFC Bournemouth loanee and found the back of the net almost immediately.
The Colombian bagged another just before the final whistle, although there was still time for Ojo to round off an emphatic win for the Gers as they look to keep up the pace with Old Firm rivals Celtic at the top of the Scottish Premiership table.
However, one man that did not get on the scoresheet but still managed to play a hugely influential role in the middle of the pitch was Ryan Jack.
The midfielder has become a huge favourite of Gerrard’s at Ibrox, as his manager has openly praised the 27-year-old on numerous occasions – including one whereby the Liverpool legend admitted he was ‘jealous’ of his performance NK Osijek last season and another where he felt Jack was one of his better players in a poor overall showing (Daily Record).
Not many of the national media outlets appeared to recognise Jack’s overall performance on Sunday, with the Scottish Sun and Daily Record appearing to gloss over it, however Rangers News gave him a seven and highlighted how important he has become.
They wrote: “Easy to see why he’s a big favourite of Gerrard’s. Uses the ball so well and always looks to drive others on. Really benefits from playing alongside Davis in the middle of the park for Rangers.”
Football Scotland appeared to back those remarks up with their own rating of seven, as they stated: “Had Mallan on toast all game, and wasn’t afraid to get forward either. It was his run into the box that prompted the red card, and the midfielder gave an impressive display.”
Ibrox Noise also waxed lyrical about the 27-year-old’s performance as well, as they wrote: “Wow, Ryan Jack is nailing his form at an excellent time, and he really was everywhere today. Good in every area of the pitch, and makes himself available for every team mate. He’s such an under-appreciated player, and all the midfield competition has made him raise his game. He’ll be delighted with how he played. 9“.
Fans on Twitter were also impressed with Jack’s contribution, as noted by HITC Sport – further highlighting just how crucial and valuable the £765k-rated Scotland international (Transfermarkt) is to Gerrard’s side moving forward.
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