Kevin Phillips has heaped praise on “phenomenal” Rangers manager Steven Gerrard for his work in the January window.

The former Sunderland and England striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, said the 40-year-old has “used his contacts in England” to great effect over the past month.

The Gers announced the capture of Jack Simpson, 24, from Bournemouth on a four-and-a-half year deal – the centre-half joined on an immediate transfer, rather than on a pre-contract agreement as initially agreed.

Simpson’s former Bournemouth teammate Nnamdi Ofoborh, 21, also joined on a four-year deal but he will not move to Ibrox until the expiration of his contract on the south-coast in June.

Jordan Jones, Brandon Barker and George Edmundson moved in the opposite direction – the trio signed on loan for Sunderland, Oxford United and Derby County respectively.

When asked by Football Insider for his assessment of the club’s dealings with English clubs in the January window, Phillips said: “Stevie has used his contacts in England.

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Rangers manager Steven Gerrard

“He is planning for the future. He is not resting on his laurels and just trying to see this season out – it is refreshing. What Steven has done there is phenomenal.

“I would not be surprised if all three hit the ground running because it is easier to come into a team that is flying. Competition is going to be really strong.” 

In other news, a top pundit claims one Rangers player “let the club down” after his temporary exit was confirmed.