Rangers defender Jon Flanagan is a big worry for Steven Gerrard ahead of Sunday’s Scottish cup final against Celtic.

That is according to ex-Aberdeen striker Noel Whelan, speaking exclusively to Football Insider following Flanagan’s return to the starting XI in last night’s 2-2 draw at Pittodrie.

Steven Gerrard was unable to call upon the injured Borna Barisic, who has a bruised bone and was replaced at left-back by ex-Liverpool man Flanagan.

Rangers have been rock-solid defensively this season but the change in their defence contributed to them letting a 2-0 lead slip as Celtic went two points clear at the top of the table.

Steven Gerrard told the media afterwards that first choice Barisic is also a major doubt for the Scottish League Cup final against Neil Lennon’s side at Hampden Park.

“The left-back position is a big worry for me,” Whelan told Football Insider. “Barisic has been transformed this season and is looking a really good player.

“It’s no coincidence that Rangers looked shambolic at times without him, Flanagan was a big part of that. He’s a right footer playing a left-back looks a square peg in a round hole.

“I fear Celtic will destroy him on Sunday. They’ll certainly target him. You think of James Forrest and Ryan Christie, they’ll definitely be looking to get some joy on that side.”

Flanagan, 26, made just his eighth appearance of the season last night after a spell on the sidelines in which he underwent groin surgery.

It was his first appearance since the 2-0 defeat to Celtic at Ibrox in early September, when he was also used at left-back.

In other Rangers news, it can be REVEALED that the club have been handed a huge January transfer boost by Premier League club.