BONGANI ZUNGU had two great inspirations during his childhood in South Africa.

The first was his football daft father, who passed away in 2013. The second was Steven Gerrard. It is a twist of fate, then, that the midfielder now has the chance to make his dad proud whilst under the guidance of the man he idolised as he starred for Liverpool and England.

The 28-year-old has long known about Rangers and the successful times of yesteryear. Now he is part of the future at Ibrox after making the move from Amiens.

“It means a lot to me to play for such a huge club, a club with a rich history,” Zungu said. “When I was a young boy growing up in South Africa my dad used to speak of Rangers. To be here today, I feel very proud and happy.

“My father was a huge football fan and he supported Man Utd when we were young. He really knew about football and he used to mention Rangers as one of the clubs that were winning trophies.

“Of course, today I am here and I am sure he is very proud of me. I will carry on making him proud and making myself proud. Hopefully I will get to win trophies here.

“The gaffer, I watched him a lot and if I could describe him I would say he is a top midfielder. Every touch, every tackle, he was very aggressive and he was always up for battles.

“I was inspired growing up, he was a player I wished to be like. I watched him a lot and he really made me want to play football.”

The wait to pull on the blue jersey has been longer than Zungu would have liked but he is determined to make the most of the opportunity he has at Ibrox.

He would spend a fortnight in quarantine following his arrival in Glasgow and will be in the squad for the Europa League tie with Lech Poznan this evening after getting his first taste of action with Gerrard’s side.

“The two weeks was OK and the club helped me to get things done,” he said. “They provided me with training equipment and some programmes to do.

“It has been tough because I couldn’t go outside but they made things easy for me and I could train indoors, go on the bike, get some weights and the video analysts were sending me videos of the tactics and how the team plays and the shape. It was good.

“First of all, seeing how the team plays and the quality in the team is very exciting for me. My quality is that I am good on the ball, I can be very aggressive when we don’t have the ball.

“When I spoke with the manager, he made it clear what he wants me to do and how he wants me to get on when he gives me an opportunity. Those are the two skills that I bring to the game.”

The capture of Zungu was the final business of a productive transfer window for Rangers as he added strength and depth to his Ibrox ranks this term.

His latest recruit faces a difficult challenge to earn himself a starting spot given the levels the Rangers midfielders have hit in recent times.

It is a battle the Bafana Bafana internationalist is ready for, though, and Zungu said: “To come to a club with so much quality and a team that is doing very well in the league and also in Europe, for me it is just to add my quality.

“I am coming to a very confident team, the players look good and I just need to work hard. When I get an opportunity, I have to do well.

“One thing that stands out for me with the Rangers team is that it doesn’t matter who the manager puts in the starting line-up, everybody seems to understand the tactics and know what they are doing. I am coming to a team that has so much quality and confidence so I am looking forward to play.”