When Ryan Jack signed for Rangers in June 2017, former Ibrox captain Barry Ferguson questioned whether it would turn out to be a good piece of business.
Fast forward four years, the ex-Aberdeen midfielder has established himself as a pivotal figure in Steven Gerrard’s side.
Ferguson admits he doubted if Jack could raise his game to a new level in order to become a success in Govan, deeming him no more than a ‘squad player’ at the time.
Now the current Alloa Athletic boss believes Jack is one of the most important players at the club and has been proven wrong by the player.
The 29-year-old has endured a year to forget after requiring surgery on a calf problem that has kept him on the side-lines since February.
However, Light Blues manager Gerrard confirmed last month he was well on the road to recovery and Jack hinted he is on the verge of a return after posting an image of his mud-splattered boots on social media yesterday.
Speaking on the Go Radio Football Show, Ferguson said: “When Rangers signed Ryan Jack, I wasn’t too sure, I’ve got to be honest with you.
“I’m thinking ‘squad player’ but fair play to him, he exceeded my expectations. I think he’s been a terrific Rangers player over the last couple of seasons.
“It’s tough when you get an injury but he’s one player that I’m sure that Steven Gerrard will be desperate to get back.
“You heard Steven Gerrard last year. I think it was after the Hamilton Accies game at New Douglas Park –that he’s learnt his lesson.
“He said he won’t leave Steven Davis or Ryan Jack out the team if both of them are fit. That’s how important both of those players are.”