'Brilliant' - Hutton elated by Rangers-Europa League news from Auchenhowie

Scott Arfield’s imminent return to training is “brilliant” for Rangers – but he will not walk into Steven Gerrard’s starting XI.

That is the view of former Gers and Scotland defender Alan Hutton who, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, admitted the 32-year-old offered something a little bit different to the other midfield options at Ibrox.

As quoted by the Daily Record, Gerrard confirmed the Canada international was set to return to training at Auchenhowie towards the end of this week, with a view to being available for the Europa League tie versus Royal Antwerp.

The Gers are set to play the first leg in Belgium on February 18, meaning Arfield has two weeks to get back up to speed on the training ground.

Hutton admitted he was buzzing for the midfielder’s return to action but insisted there was no guarantee he would be given a starting role with the way his teammates have been performing.

“He’s been brilliant, whether it be in the league or in Europe, I just think for me, in terms of midfield, he just offers you something different,” Hutton told Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge.

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“You’ve got the kind of technical players, you’ve got the players with a good range of passing, he’s the one that drives them forward, he makes runs, unselfish runs that creates space for others – he’s that type of player.

“He is pivotal in what Rangers do because they want to create space, they want to get balls in from out wide so making those late runs, it suits him and Rangers. The thing is, Rangers have been playing that well recently, the midfield has been that good, that it’s going to be difficult.

“Even as well as he’s played, I don’t see it being as easy as just walking straight back in, as well as he has played before the injury, but time will tell. Obviously, Steven Gerrard will know in his head where Arfield’s but again, a great headache to have.” 

Arfield played 31 times and scored seven goals this season before picking up ankle ligament damage in the win over Hibernian.

In other news, English outfit in advanced talks to sign Rangers prospect.