By Noel Whelan

9th Feb, 2021 | 5:00pm

Whelan: Gerrard friendship key to late Rangers exit

Noel Whelan believes George Edmundson’s loan switch from Rangers to Derby County is a win-win for Steven Gerrard and Wayne Rooney.

The former Leeds United and Aberdeen striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, suggested some strings had been pulled between the two managers to get the 23-year-old down to Pride Park until the end of the season.

The centre-back completed his temporary move back to England on deadline day earlier this month after struggling for game time at Ibrox.

Edmundson was not involved in the Rams’ 3-0 defeat against Rotherham the day after he arrived, while their away trip to Barnsley was postponed this weekend due to a waterlogged pitch at Oakwell.

Whelan believes the move is good business for all parties involved.

Whelan told Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge: He’s going to a Derby side that has been reignited by Wayne Rooney and I think there’s a contact there, isn’t there, between Steven and Wayne?

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“They’ve obviously spoken and obviously still speak regularly as well and friends off the field, England teammates, competitive against each other at two rival clubs but that respect is there and he’s obviously helped out Wayne in an area that he needs.

“It’s also going to help out Edmundson in his progression and his career as well, going to  a good side, a good outfit, a good set-up at Derby County under a decent manager now who’s turned things around at Derby and are now in a good place.

“It can only strengthen Derby, a little bit of help there from two ex-pros which I think is going to benefit both of them through to the end of the season.”

Edmundson played just once for Rangers – in a Europa League qualifying tie – during the first half of the campaign, with the likes of Connor Goldson, Filip Helander and Leon Balogun ahead in the pecking order.

His season was marred by a breach of social distancing protocols which led him being fined by the police and suspended by both Rangers and the SFA.

In other news, a Rangers forward has set his sights on a permanent move away from Ibrox this summer.