Nottingham Forest defender Joe Worrall has told the Daily Record that his season-long stint at Rangers has made him a better player, claiming he was a ‘complete player’ during his time in Scotland.
The 22-year-old spent the 2018/19 campaign at Ibrox and thrived as a first-choice central defender under the management of Steven Gerrard.
Worrall played 32 games for the Light Blues last season, including four times in European competition, before returning to Forest in the summer.
The Reds academy graduate has played every minute of every league game so far this season and is clearly benefitting from his spell north of the border.
Worrall’s latest appearance for the Reds ended in a 2-1 win for Forest against Luton and afterwards, the defender spoke of his time with Rangers.
He told the Daily Record: “I thought I was the complete player last season. But then you realise that spending a year away from the demands of the Championship, you might need that away to look at it as an outsider.
“I enjoyed my time up there and I’ve come back a much better player. I couldn’t have got a better loan. If any other lad gets an opportunity to go up there I’d recommend it – it’s crazy!”
The comment about being a complete player at Ibrox may well come as a surprise to some Rangers supporters.
Many appreciated his effort and determination but he was often criticised for the work in progress nature of his defending by some of the club’s more cynical supporters.
He was impressive during a win over Celtic and against Villarreal in the Europa League but also had errors in his locker. A slip which cost Rangers three points against Kilmarnock even drew criticism from boss Gerrard.
His form at Forest this season is making a mockery of such a theory from some cruel supporters, however. He has been a revelation this season and he is definitely accurate to suggest his Rangers stint has made him a better player.
Worrall has captained Forest in the Carabao Cup this season and there is every chance he could take on that mantle permanently in the future.
As a lifelong supporter of the club, he will relish the club’s next match. Derby County arrive at the City Ground on Saturday and Worrall would dearly love to collect all three points from that one.