Steven Gerrard believes the Rangers supporters will see the real Steven Davis in the months to come after making the midfielder’s Ibrox return permanent.
The Northern Irishman – who previously skippered Rangers during his first spell at the club between 2007 and 2012 – returned to Glasgow in January after agreeing a six-month loan deal from Southampton.
His arrival alongside striker Jermain Defoe was expected to provide Rangers with the experience and quality they would need to sustain a real challenge to Celtic in the second half of the season.
But with Davis short on fitness following a frustrating start to the campaign with Saints, he was largely left on the bench as the Light Blues’ title push faltered.
However, the 34-year-old has now started Rangers’ last four games, with his composure in the middle of the park inspiring his side to four straight wins.
And boss Gerrard is expecting more of the same next term after announcing Davis has signed a 12-month deal that will kick in once his seven-year spell at St Mary’s officially comes to an end this summer.
Gerrard – who has already secured the services of Kilmarnock’s Jordan Jones and Jake Hastie from Motherwell on pre-contracts for next season – told RangersTV: “Rangers fans have started to see a fully-fit Steven Davis over the past month.
“He looks sharp, is covering all round the pitch, winning the ball back, intercepting balls and looking aggressive.
“That is why we brought him back in January and why we want him as part of this squad going forward.”
Davis won three league titles, two Scottish Cups, three League Cups and helped Rangers reach the 2008 UEFA Cup final during his last stint at Ibrox but will end the season empty-handed.
However, he is optimistic about what is to come under Gerrard.
“I am obviously delighted my future has been sorted out,” he said.
“I have thoroughly enjoyed, especially in the last couple of weeks, the performances of the team as they have been really good and I think there has been a lot of progress made this season.
“We are disappointed that we didn’t manage to pick up any silverware to this point, but there is a lot to look forward to in the future.
“[To begin with], it was a case of myself and the club getting the initial period out of the way and seeing how everything went as my family are still down south. That has been different, but I am delighted to now get everything signed and sealed.”