Kris Commons has warned Rangers that shoehorning Aaron Ramsey into their starting XI could prove fatal in their pursuit to regain their crown.
The Welshman returned to the squad for the narrow 1-0 win over Aberdeen but he didn’t feature from the bench.
Ramsey’s only start since his marquee loan switch from Juventus was in the Scottish Cup stroll away to Annan Athletic.
And Commons is convinced Rangers cannot treat the former Arsenal hero special when it comes to picking the best team.
Gio van Bronckhorst has no time to second guess himself with his side three points behind title rivals Celtic with eight games remaining.
Speaking in his Daily Mail column, he said: “We’re now well into March and Rangers fans are fully entitled to ask what the thinking behind the signing of Aaron Ramsey was all about.
“The stats so far show that he’s played just 94 minutes over four games of football. And 61 of those came against Annan Athletic.
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“He was an unused substitute against Aberdeen on Saturday. If a player of that talent is able to take his place on the bench, why wasn’t he involved? I always felt this was a marquee signing to give Rangers fans a pick-me -up No matter his talent, I never thought Ramsey was a player who was going to take the Ibrox side to the next level.
“Rangers’ midfield already has the likes of Scott Arfield, Glen Kamara and Ryan Jack. Was it an area of the team that badly needed upgrading? No one should be surprised by the way this is playing out.
“He’s an exceptional talent who has had a top career but has been plagued with injuries. He struggled for fitness at Arsenal and Juventus and was always going to be miles off it by the time he moved to Glasgow. I’ve read that he is spending thousands of pounds of his own money on fitness coaches to try to get himself up to speed.
“If he starts against Celtic at the start of next month, that might be money well spent. But if he remains a bit-part player in that clash, his loan spell will just go down as pretty much a waste of time. It’s also not just as simple as Ramsey getting up to speed.If Rangers keep winning, it becomes harder for Giovanni van Bronckhorst to change things.
“Even top players don’t go straight into a team and automatically have the required understanding with their team-mates.
“In my best spell at Celtic, I never had to worry about the link-up between myself, Anthony Stokes and Gary Hooper. It just came naturally, but it only came about because we had played together so often.
“In a title race where one slip-up could be fatal, Van Bronckhorst will think twice about changing a winning formula no matter who that may exclude.”