IF you are good enough, then you are old enough. At 19, Alex Lowry now has the chance to prove that at Ibrox.

This time last season, the playmaker was a talked about name but a largely unknown talent for many supporters. If they had walked by Lowry on the street, they would have done so without so much as a second glance.

A place on the bench for the pre-season fixture with Partick Thistle was the first show of faith from Steven Gerrard. Now Giovanni van Bronckhorst must back his man to play a key role at home and abroad for Rangers.

The sale of Joe Aribo to Southampton leaves a creative void within Van Bronckhorst’s side and an area of the team that already needed addressing and investment must now become a priority as the countdown continues to the start of Rangers’ Premiership title bid later this month and their first Champions League qualifier in early August.

It would be unfair to place all of that burden on Lowry’s young shoulders but Aribo’s absence presents an opportunity for the Auchenhowie graduate. It is one that he looks more than ready for.

Lowry cannot be expected to produce the kind of numbers that Aribo did in terms of appearances and minutes during his third and final campaign at Ibrox. His talent must be nurtured, not flogged.

But the Scotland youth international is now in a prime position to become an important part of Van Bronckhorst’s squad in the coming months as he aims to weigh in with goals and assists and contribute in an area where Rangers have been sorely lacking in recent times.

It is often easy to hype players ahead of their time and as the next big thing. Many, of course, never live up to the billing.

Lowry is different, though. He has a style that immediately sets him apart, a way of playing that indicates he really could be something special and go on to be a star for club and country.

He is a unique talent and the guidance of Van Bronckhorst, alongside coaches Roy Makaay and Dave Vos, will help bring out the best in him over the course of the season as the playmaker continues to grow in stature physically and in terms of his influence at Ibrox.

There is a class and calmness about the way in which Lowry plays. He glides across the ground and passes and shoots with a precision that sets him apart from so many others of his age.

The task of replacing a player that scored in a European final just weeks ago is no easy one for Van Bronckhorst and money must be spent to ensure that the Aribo deal - potentially worth around £10million and which includes a sell-on clause - does not prove a costly one for Rangers after they cashed in on one of their sellable assets.

Attacking reinforcements must be sought as a matter of priority at Ibrox but Lowry will be given his own platform to build on as he seeks to take his game to the next level and kick on from an eye-catching breakthrough campaign with his boyhood heroes.

His fellow supporters have rightly become somewhat anxious at the lack of transfer activity so far this summer but a deal that was done several weeks ago could prove to be one of the most important of all after Lowry committed himself to Rangers until 2025.

Interest in him was understandably high and he would have had the pick of several clubs if he had opted to leave Rangers. Thankfully for Van Bronckhorst, all parties got there in the end.

“Now that the contract’s out of the way, I can concentrate solely on my football,” Lowry said after the 2-0 win over Dundee United in May as he marked his new deal with more game time at Ibrox.

"That hanging around for a while wasn’t great. It was a bit of a wait but it’s done now so football is the main thing.

"I’m looking forward to kicking on and putting in good performances for Rangers.”

That deal was a show of faith from the club in one of its most exciting academy graduates. It was also one from Lowry and his representatives in the vision that Van Bronckhorst has for the future and the role that the youngster can play in the coming months.

There will be times when Lowry finds himself out of the picture, stages of the season when his manager may feel that it is not right to pitch an up-and-coming and still relatively inexperienced player into matches of the magnitude that Rangers will have this term.

But Lowry will get his chances. He has earned them and must now make the most of them to justify the hype and the contract as he seeks to showcase his talents in the Premiership and European action rather than the Lowland League.

He cannot he considered an immediate, ready-made replacement for Aribo but he has those same traits - the ability to pick a pass, a football brain that is as quick as his feet - that made the Nigerian such a favourite with fans and such an important part of the Rangers attack.

Lowry must be given breathing space when he needs it. But there is a sense that his moment has come, that his time is now and the way in which he has handled every challenge that has been placed in front of him certainly bodes well for him being able to cope with the trials and tribulations of chasing silverware at Ibrox.

Lowry has a potentially long and successful career ahead of him. This term will show that he is good enough and old enough for Rangers.