Kenny Miller backs Rangers teammate Fraser Aird to thrive with Vancouver Whitecaps

The Canadian international joined Miller's former club last week on a loan deal for the 2016 MLS season.

Kenny Miller believes Rangers teammate Fraser Aird will benefit significantly from his spell with the Vancouver Whitecaps.

Aird, 21, joined the Whitecaps last week on a season-long loan with a transfer option and is now battling Costa Rican Jordan Smith for the starting right-back job ahead of the 2016 campaign.

The one-time capped Canadian international fielded offers from a handful of other teams during the winter transfer window but opted to make the move to MLS after holding talks with Vancouver head coach Carl Robinson and consulting former ‘Caps favourite Miller for advice.

The Scottish striker scored 14 goals in 43 regular season appearances for the Canadian club between 2012 and 2014 before returning to Rangers for a third spell at Ibrox, and he believes Aird will have few problems showcasing his promise in the Pacific Northwest.

Speaking to The Province after his Gers teammate started the Whitecaps’ preseason opener against the Seattle Sounders earlier this week, Miller said: He’ll do very well. He’s a great lad. Great attitude. Wants to learn, wants to improve.

“I’ve filled him in on the club and some of the players still there. More importantly, Robbo and his staff are a fantastic group and you’d be crazy not to improve under Robbo, Perty [assistant coach Martyn Pert] and Gordon [Forrest].

“That’s a big thing for Fraser, who is still a young lad. He’ll listen and he’ll improve.”

Born in Scarborough, Ontario to Scottish parents, Aird grew up supporting Rangers in Canada before moving across the Atlantic to sign with the Glasgow outfit in 2011 at the age of 16.

The youngster, who can play in midfield or at full-back, eventually earned his first-team debut in September 2012 and went on to be named the club’s Young Player of the Year the following season after recording seven goals and 10 assists in 37 games.

In total, he has featured 85 times for the Scottish Championship side, scoring 17 goals and adding 12 assists, but was keen to head out on loan this winter after making just three league appearances and one Challenge Cup cameo over the first half of the current campaign.

He is now set to get some valuable experience in MLS over the course of 2016, but with his deal being with a view to a permanent move, it remains to be seen whether he will be taking what he learns back to Ibrox next season.

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