BIRMINGHAM defender Paul Robinson has backed Rangers target Jon Toral to light up Scottish football – and admitted he’s gutted his good friend isn’t going to be joining him again at St Andrew’s. The Spanish midfielder is expected to complete a loan move from Arsenal to Ibrox in the coming days, re-uniting him with manager Mark Warburton who he played under during another temporary spell at Brentford.

The 21 year-old has spent the first half of the season on loan at La Liga outfit Granada but, after failing to nail down a first-team place, is looking for a fresh challenge. Rangers would seem to have won the race for the player’s signature and Robinson, who played with Toral during his loan spell at Birmingham last season, believes they have landed a real class act.

The 38 year-old said: “Jon’s a fantastic talent and will be a great signing for Rangers. He came straight into the team with us at Birmingham and went on to make a real impact last season.

“He’s an attacking midfielder who can play wide on either side but his best position for me is in the hole behind a striker. He causes so many problems as he’s an intelligent player. Even in the tightest of areas he will find space as he’s that good.

“He’s technically excellent, knows where the goal is, and his ability to beat players and bring others into play is second to none. He’s an all-round footballer as he’s also strong in the air with a great jump.

“I’m gutted really as I thought Birmingham might go back in for him. I talk to him all the time but he’s kept this one quiet so I’ll have to phone him and give him a bit of an earful! But if Rangers have got in first then they’ve landed themselves a fantastic signing.

“It’s a statement from them. I know Mark Warburton has worked with Jon before at Brentford so he’ll know what a player he is.”

Robinson watched the recent Old Firm derby on television and earmarked Toral to make an impact when the next one rolls around in March.

He added: “He’ll be well up for the matches against Celtic. He’ll love that kind of game and he’ll thrive in it as he’s got a great temperament for a young guy. He’ll want to show people what he can do on the biggest stage, so the derbies will be a great chance for him to do that.

“I watched the game the other day and it was very close but Celtic’s extra bit of quality just killed the game off. Now Jon will give Rangers that extra spark they maybe missed on the day. Hopefully he can sort me out with some tickets for it!”