Greg Stewart had a point to prove against Aberdeen and prove it he certainly did.
The Rangers forward struggled to make an impact during not one but two separate loan spells with The Dons. In a combined 60 games for Derek McInnes’s side, Stewart scored just six goals with the Pittodrie faithful often taking aim at a man who failed to produce his unique brand of skill and vision in red.
But in his first Premiership start for Rangers, and just his third in all competitions since moving to Ibrox, Stewart silenced the doubters with his performance brimming with desire and determination against his former employers.
There was a goal, his first in Rangers colours, and an assist as Steven Gerrard’s rampant blues smashed Aberdeen 5-0 at Ibrox. Until now, it felt like Stewart had fallen out of the manager’s plans, sitting behind the likes of Alfredo Morelos, Jermain Defoe and Scott Arfield in the pecking order, so this fabulous performance had a breakthrough feeling about it, the start of something big.
So the last thing he needed was to wake up on Monday morning to see that Rangers are reportedly looking to reinforce their frontline with the signing of Lawrence Shankland in January.
According to the Record, the Gers sent scouts to watch Shankland score a hat-trick in Dundee United’s 6-0 thrashing of Morton, taking his tally to 15 for the season and 13 in seven league games already.
Shankland, a boyhood Gers fan, is an old-school goal poacher while Stewart is a more cerebral option, a number ten reminiscent of Steven Naismith in his pomp. But should the 24-year-old arrive in the New Year, it will be even tougher for Stewart to maintain a place in Gerrard’s starting XI – as if it wasn’t difficult enough already.
Then again, with Stewart playing as a nine and a ten since moving to Ibrox, a lot depends on what Gerrard has planned for the Stirling-born play-maker in the months ahead.
Have something to tell us about this article?