Rangers target Daniel Johnson is a “great player” who should be playing at a higher level than the English Championship.

That is according to his former Aston Villa teammate Gabby Agbonlahor, who, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, has been impressed by how the playmaker, 28, has built his career after quitting the Midlands giants in 2015.

Rangers pursued Johnson during the main transfer window that shut last month but could not agree a fee with Preston despite extensive talks.

As revealed by Football Insider last month, Preston were left fuming by how Johnson’s had had been turned by Rangers and the prospect of a glamour move.

Rangers had a £2million bid for Johnson rejected as the Championship club held firm on their £4m valuation.

“He was at Villa when I was in the team and he was coming through the youth team, the reserves at the time, he was a great player,” Agbonlahor told Football Insider.

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“What I really like about Daniel is that some of the players in the Under 23s can stay but he left, he wanted to go and make a career for himself and that’s the best thing he’s done because he’s made a top career and he’s a great player.

“He should be playing higher in my opinion because he’s one of Preston’s best players. 100% he could make that step up.

“He’s a strong tackler, he can score goals, he’s so athletic.”

Johnson began the season on the sidelines at North End as he was initially dropped for losing focus and then suffered a groin injury.

He has subsequently been restored to the team and has started the last six Championship matches, three of which have been won.

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