Former Northern Ireland international Keith Gillespie has hailed Rangers midfielder Steven Davis after he signed a new contract, telling Football FanCast that he was good enough to play for Manchester United.
Gillespie won 86 caps for Northern Ireland between 1994 and 2008, while Davis made his debut in 2005 and has gone on to win 125 caps.
That equals Peter Shilton’s record of caps won, with his being earned for England, and Davis remains a key member of the squad for Rangers.
Across two spells at the club – he spent four years at the club between 2008 and 2012 prior to a move to Southampton but he returned in 2019 on an initial loan deal that was made permanent – he has made 302 appearances.
He has also played 41 times in all competitions this season, with his new deal extending his stay for another year.
Gillespie has waxed lyrical about the talent Davis possesses, insisting he was good enough to move to Old Trafford.
He told FFC: “He’s another one I played with for Northern Ireland and as soon as I’d seen him in training for the first time, I thought wow, what a very, very good player.
“He was at Aston Villa at the time and I thought ‘he’s the sort to go and play for Man United or a top team’. He’s been fantastic for Rangers this season. He’s been an unbelievable servant for Northern Ireland and somebody that, when he plays well, Northern Ireland play well, and it seems to be that way with Rangers as well. He’s such an important player.”
Gillespie also thinks that Steven Gerrard’s management has played a key role in Davis’ development, with the ex-Liverpool midfielder managing him perfectly at Ibrox.
He added: “He plays most weeks at Rangers and I think, because he has a manager who played that position as well, he knows how to manage him, he probably knows how to say ‘have a day off here’ because it is important that players are managed the right way.
“You’ve got a very good manager in Steven Gerrard who understands that with Steven Davis although he is the sort of player who very rarely misses games through injury or misses training. He’s always fit.
“Absolutely incredible player, great to see him sign a new contract, he’s so important for Northern Ireland and it’s going to be very, very tough when he comes to that age where he can’t pull on that green shirt again because he’s going to be a very hard one to replace.”