JON Toral knows the Rangers manager well but it was two other former Rangers who also convinced him to sign for the Light Blues.
Mikel Arteta spoke to the 21-year-old when he heard the Light Blues were interested in him and Toral’s old captain at Arsenal told him it would benefit him to go to Scotland.
The attacking midfielder also drew on the experience of his Gunners teammate Gedion Zelalem who enjoyed six months at Ibrox last season.
Speaking to Rangers TV: “In the summer we went back to London Colney, the training ground at Arsenal and Gedion said that he had really enjoyed his season here. So I had that in mind before I signed.
“I didn’t get the chance to speak to him when I heard Rangers were interested but I spoke to Mikel Arteta who was here as well.
“He fully recommended me to come here. He said I would really enjoy my time here.
“He just said that if I have the chance to come up here to take it because it would be very good for my career moving forward and I would really enjoy it.
“When players go on loan they want to get minutes and they want to get experience to learn their trade in football.
“I think Gedion did that here and that was in my mind when I made the decision to come over here.”
Toral has enjoyed three loan spells away from Arsenal, working under his new Gers boss Mark Warburton at Brentford before winning Player of the Year at Birmingham last season and then spending the first part of this season at La Liga club Granada.
But it is the lure of Ibrox which has pulled the playmaker to Glasgow and he wants to experience the pressure that being a Ger brings with it.
“I think the club is big and you can tell that with everything that happens around it and since I came here.
“So that is a different challenge for me, to play in front of 50,000 every home game. I think that will help me for my entire career moving forward.
“It’s my first time at a club where it is a must-win every game, and I think I can use that in my favour and learn a lot from it.
“I think it’s going to be a new experience for me. The big crowds at home will really help my career and I think playing in all kinds of stadiums as well will make me learn a lot.
“I really don’t like describing myself; I think that is for others to describe me. I’ll leave that for people who have seen me play.
“Well I’m an attacking midfielder; I like to get into the box and scoring goals so I hope I can do that here.”