I will be at Rangers for the long haul, insists Aaron
The Spanish midfielder Aaron Niguez maintains he is not looking beyond Glasgow after beginning his two-year loan spell with Rangers. The 19-year-old Valencia player got his first taste of action for Rangers on Tuesday night when he impressed in a 70-minute run-out during a practice game against Kilmarnock at Murray Park. Rangers are thought to have the option to sign Aaron for £2m when the loan deal expires, but fans fear he could move on.
Carlos Cuellar was at Ibrox for barely a year before exercising a sell-on clause to join Aston Villa for £7.8m last week. However, Aaron, who played for Valencia in the Champions League aged 17, claims he is keen on a long-term stay at Ibrox. "I have not just come here to play and then leave again," he said. "I am here for two years and I want to progress in that time. It is my hope that I do well enough for Rangers that they want to sign me and keep me here on a permanent deal. My first target is to simply play good football in training and get into the team as I am here to be successful.
"I am not even thinking about a life beyond Rangers. You never know what will happen in your career over time but I want to be here. I am only focused on working hard so that the club takes up its option to buy me and I am here for many years."
As well as fellow Spaniards Cuellar and team-mate Nacho Novo, Aaron is following in the footsteps of Mikel Arteta, who joined Rangers in 2002 from Barcelona. Arteta lasted two years in Glasgow but hankered for a return to Spain. He later joined Everton from Real Sociedad.
"In coming here after a loan spell elsewhere, I suppose I am doing the same sort of thing as Mikel did before," said Aaron, who had spells with Spanish second division side Xerez and Greek club Iraklis last season. "It's tough to be a success in football and you have to take things step by step. When you look at Mikel now, he is a big success in the English Premier League and I want to take things gradually so that I end up being a big success here."
Kirk Broadfoot is sure Rangers will have revenge on their minds when they face Aberdeen on Saturday. Pittodrie was the scene of their failed bid to clinch the title on the final day of last season, with Celtic pipping them to the trophy with a win at Dundee United. An eight-day spell had seen Rangers face Zenit St Petersburg in the Uefa Cup final and Motherwell and St Mirren in the league before making the trip north. And the encounter in the Granite City proved a step too far for Walter Smith's exhausted players as they slumped to a 2-0 defeat, while their great rivals celebrated on Tayside.
"There is no doubt we will go up there this weekend with the result on the final day of last season still fresh in the memory," defender Broadfoot said. "We need to get a bit of revenge for that as it was a painful night for all of us and we will be desperate to come back with three points this time around. "When we lost up there in May, I don't think the circumstances helped us. We looked jaded and you can't forget the run of games we had in the lead up to that one. There is never any excuse at Rangers for losing games but that was an incredible run of very important matches we had and that night at Pittodrie was still painful even though our defeat was irrelevant with Celtic winning." A visit to Celtic Park rounds off a tough opening month but Broadfoot believes Rangers can gain confidence from a winning start so soon after the disappointment of their European exit. "It will be a difficult game for us this weekend, it always is up there," he said. "Aberdeen are a very good side that are always very well organised."
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