John Souttar believes he is at the perfect stage in his career to be joining Rangers.
The 25-year-old defender agreed a pre-contract with the Ibrox club in January and, after Gers failed in a bid to try to buy him from Hearts there and then, the transfer finally became official on Wednesday upon the expiry of his Jambos deal.
Souttar – who has signed a four-year contract – believes he is well equipped to handle the demands of playing for Rangers after forcing his way into the Scotland set-up during his six and a half years at Tynecastle
“It’s been a long time since I signed the pre-contact in January, but it’s a brilliant day for me and my family to join Rangers,” Souttar said, discussing his transfer for the first time in an interview with Rangers TV.
“It nearly happened in January, so it was obviously just dealing with that setback of it not happening and focusing on the football.
“It was difficult at the time but after it was over with, it was over with, so I just gave 100 per cent focus on the task at hand at Hearts.
“I’ve been brought up in Scotland so I know the size of the club, I know what it means to people.
“I think in this stage of my career, it’s brilliant to be joining (Rangers). I feel like I’m ready physically, mentally to join Rangers.
“I know the expectation and the challenges there, but I’m just really looking forward to it.”
Souttar was in the Hearts side that lost to Rangers in last month’s Scottish Cup final, just days after Giovanni Van Bronckhorst’s team were defeated by Eintracht Frankfurt on penalties in the Europa League final. The defender believes he is joining a vibrant club.
“When I met the manager, it was exciting,” said the centre-back. “He gave me his thoughts on how he wanted to play and stuff like that, and it was exciting.
“I think there’s a lot of momentum around the club and it’s an exciting time to be here.
“When you join Rangers, it’s expected to win things every season, that’s the bare minimum, you expect to win things.
“That’s why you join Rangers, to come and win trophies, so I can’t wait to come in and experience that feeling.
“Coming to a big club like Rangers, it gives you that opportunity to play in Europe and to play at a high level and hopefully, by doing that, it will make me a mainstay for the national team.”