Gabriel Agbonlahor has hailed his former Aston Villa teammate Steven Davis as “outstanding” for Rangers this season after a vintage display in Thursday’s 3-3 thriller against Benfica.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former Villa striker is amazed by the longevity of the Northern Ireland international, 35.

Davis has been a key man for high-flying Rangers in his second spell at the club and continued his fine form after being named in the starting XI for Thursday’s Europa League clash in Lisbon.

The veteran midfielder ran the game for much of the night in what was his 15th appearance of the campaign.

Rangers were 3-1 up against 10-man Benfica following the early Nicolas Otamendi dismissal but blew their two-goal lead late on.

Retired Agbonlahor, who is nearly two years younger than the Irishman, knows Davis very well from their Villa days before he was pushed out by ex-Celtic and Villa boss Martin O’Neill.

“I was in the youth team as Steven broke into the first team at Aston Villa, he was a few
years older than me,”
the former striker told Football Insider.

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“A great player for Aston Villa and unlucky for him when Martin O’Neill came in, he didn’t really fancy him, got rid of him.

“The career he’s had, wow, has been outstanding, he’s got experience, he’s Northern Ireland’s highest every cap holder.

Rangers midfielder

“He might not be able to play every game but Steven Davis is going have that energy, that passion for Rangers – you know he’s a big Rangers fan anyway – so you want them players in your club, especially in the derby games against Celtic.

“You want them players in that love the club and want to get the best out of the team.”

In other news, Rangers dazzler set to be frozen out until January after Gerrard makes up mind (not Jones).