Greg Docherty grew up idolising Steven Davis and now he aims to pick his boyhood hero’s brains before pinching his spot in Steven Gerrard’s Rangers line-up.
The return of former club captain Davis to Ibrox on a six-month loan deal from Southampton has all but ended Docherty’s hopes that he may be called back from his own temporary stint at Shrewsbury this month.
But the former Hamilton youngster firmly expects to be back in Glasgow this summer, looking to compete with midfield ace Davis.
The Northern Ireland skipper’s Saints deal expires at the end of the season and he has already expressed his desire to make his Gers switch permanent.
Docherty knows that will only make his job of breaking into Gerrard’s team harder but he believes that he can learn from a player he used to cheer on from the stands - then look to replace him on the pitch.
The 22-year-old said: “Steven was the guy I watched out for as a kid when I was a season-ticket holder. I was only about 10 or 11 at the time and he and Barry Ferguson were the guys I wanted to be like.
“I remember he scored in the League Cup final against Celtic in 2011. He was outstanding that day, totally ran the game and I remember being buzzing watching it.
“He achieved so much the last time he was at the club with the amount of trophies he lifted.
“I don’t think he was really appreciated for how good he was at the time so it’s great the club have been able to get him back in. It’s a real coup and hopefully he can help us kick on now.
“But I’ve got to be thinking about coming back and looking to take his place.
“I’m realistic and understand that guys like Scott Arfield are good players with a lot of experience too. Ryan Jack is probably having his best ever season - I’m under no illusions about that.
“But I’ll just bide my time. My end goal is still to come back to Rangers and do whatever I have to do to be a success.
“Hopefully I can learn from these guys.”
Docherty was faced with a tough call during pre-season when Gerrard made it clear he would struggle for game time this term.
But he refused to sulk and has made the most of his opportunity after deciding to join the Shrews on loan.
So far he has contributed seven goals and five assists for the New Meadow outfit and hopes the development he has shown will be good enough to see him welcomed back into the Light Blues fold next season.
“Rangers seem to be quite happy with my progress and the last thing they want is for me not to be playing, so if I keep developing down here they will be happy,” said Docherty.
“With everything going on at the club - the win over Celtic, players like Davis and Jermain Defoe coming in - of course I was thinking it’d be great to be back involved in that this month but I’ve got to think about what’s best for me in the long term.
“Davis has signed and to go back up and learn from guys like him would be brilliant.”