GREG STEWART had a ringside seat when Abdallah Sima shattered Rangers’ EURO dream two years ago.
Now the former Ibroxreckons the Brighton man on loan could be the secret weapon for his old club this season.
Stewart was an unused substitute when Sima tormented Steven Gerrard’s Gers in Slavia Prague’s two-leg Europa League Round of 16 win in March 2021.
Now playing for Indian club Mumbai City, he is delighted to have the 22-year-old on board while gaffer Michael Beale plans his moveat and abroad.
Stewart, 33, said: “Sima was only 19 at the time but you could already see how good he was back then.
“He wasathletic and caused us all sorts of problems with his speed.
“Brighton signed him and he may have struggled to adapt there. But I am sure that he will play with his quality in the league.
“Sima will definitely be a good additionsquad.”
is already Gers’ eighth signing — and Stewart admits an eviction was necessary.
He said: “Some big players have leftmcgregor, , And .
“It was at a point where these guys had to move on, for themselves and for the club. Everyone needs a fresh start and the cycle is coming to an end.
“The manager came in the middle of the season and wants to put his own stamp on the team.
“It’s difficult to sign players in January. Nico Raskin andhave been big players up until now.
“But by the end of the season you could tell Michael wanted to change something.
“He would have spoken to all the signings about his comingTo trophies and play-alongs .
“It’s a huge draw for any player.
“If he knows him, he will have already taught the players what he wants to do this season.”
Sima will be joined by players such as Jack Butland, Dujon Sterling, Kieran Dowell, Sam Lammers, Cyriel Dessers and the returning Leon Balogun.
Stewart shared onewith the Nigerian veteran returning to Ibrox after being brought to QPR by Beale in the summer of 2022.
He added: “Leon’s return was actually a given.
“With boysget one In it looks like that gave the impetus to bring Balogun back.
“Mick knows him well having worked with him at Ibrox and QPR. If you want some protection, Leon is for you.
“He has so much experience and has performed really well in his first outing at the club.
“The way he takes care of himself is incredible and his age will not matter.
“He can play on either side of the middleand he did well wherever he was asked to play.
“From the outside it’s an easy decision to bring Leon back to the club.
“He’s a quiet big guy, and he’s not one to howl and scream.
“He doesn’t have to say too much, but when he talks you listen.
“The way Balogun goes about his businesson the He sets a good example in this area.
“He was a big presence in the dressing room, but he was also pretty calm about things.
“He always does well when working in the gym and it was very important to him to keep himself in the best possible shape.
“That’s why he’s in a position to return to a club the size of Rangers at 35.
“He’s a top professional and at the time it was a great character in the squad. I’m sure he will be the same again this season.”
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