Rangers boss Steven Gerrard has told The Scottish Sun that he was happy for Ross McCrorie to stay at Ibrox, but he chose to leave for Aberdeen.

The Gers are back in action this afternoon, as they host Aberdeen at Ibrox in a crucial game after seeing Celtic draw 2-2 at Hibernian on Saturday.

A win would send Rangers 11 points clear at the top of the table, and Aberdeen will be dented by the absence of McCrorie.

Rangers News mid-season review: How good have the Gers been? Areas to improve? Future ambitions?

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The 22-year-old is ineligible given that he is on loan from Rangers, and he would have missed out anyway having fallen victim to the global pandemic.

McCrorie appeared to be a favourite of Gerrard’s in the 2018-19 season, as he featured regularly in a holding midfield role, especially in big games.

Gerrard backed McCrorie to become a Rangers captain one day, even branding him ‘immense’ in February 2019 – but he was sent out on loan to Portsmouth in 2019.

Photo by Callum Landells/Getty Images

Rather than being reintegrated at Rangers, McCrorie joined Aberdeen on loan this past summer, and will make the move permanent for £300,000 next summer.

Gerrard has now suggested that he was happy for McCrorie to stay, but the youngster wanted to leave for first-team action – and Gerrard isn’t surprised he’s impressing at Pittodrie this season.

“I was open and welcome to Ross staying about,” said Gerrard. “He is a good player so it’s no surprise he has gone to Aberdeen and hit the ground running,” he added.

Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

In other news, ‘Exceptional’: Coach hails player released by Celtic and linked with West Brom