BOB Malcolm reckons the failure of Bruno Alves to establish himself at Rangers has shown new signings Connor Goldson and Nikola Katic the high standards they will have to attain to succeed at Ibrox.

Alves, who has been away with Portugal at the Russia 2018 finals, is poised to complete a transfer to Serie A club Parma in Italy in the coming days.

The vastly-experienced centre back’s arrival in Glasgow from Cagliari last July was greeted with enormous excitement by Gers supporters.

However, the defender struggled with injuries and was unable to live up to fans’ high expectations and now looks set to depart after just 12 months in Scotland.

For Malcolm, the former centre half who won every honour in the Scottish game during the nine years that he spent in the first team at Ibrox, it drives home just how demanding it can be to represent Rangers.

He is hopeful that both Goldson and Katic, who have been signed from Brighton and Slaven Belupo in Croatia respectively for a combined total of £4 million this summer, fare better than Alves.

But he believes the difficulties the Portuguese internationalist, who had previously played for Porto, Fenerbahce and Zenit Saint-Petersburg, encountered here highlight how hard it can be to flourish in Govan.

“When I first heard Rangers were going to sign Alves, a player who had won Euro 2016 with Portugal, I thought it was brilliant,” said Malcolm.

“He was a big name player who had been at some big clubs. A lot of supporters feared the club would never be able to sign guys like that again.

“But he got injured fairly early on and I didn’t think he was ever the same player when he returned to the side.

“When he came off early on against Celtic at Parkhead in December I think a lot of fans were unimpressed. They felt he was play acting and didn’t want to play.

“The guy was obviously a quality player. You don’t play for Portugal unless you are top class. But he was a little bit older. It just never happened for him.”

Malcolm added: “Both Rangers and Celtic have brought top internationals to Glasgow who haven’t been able to handle it

“Rangers had two World Cup winners, Stephane Guivarc’h and Lionel Charbonnier, when I was at Ibrox. They had won France '98 with France, but they both struggled.

“Lionel got a bad injury which hampered him, but Stephane only played a handful of games. He couldn’t get into the team.

“If you don’t get off to a good start and the fans don’t take to you then it can be hard. You become a villain and even if you have a decent game they won’t accept you.

“I don’t think Bruno got pelters off the fans as such, but they were all expecting great things from him and it didn’t happen. He could be rash and petulant in games as well when things weren’t going well.

“I have always stated that you don’t necessarily have to be a great player to play for Rangers and Celtic. You just have to be able to handle the fans and the expectations and give 100 per cent.”

Malcolm, who still attends Rangers games as a supporter, is looking forward to the seeing how the Ibrox club perform under Liverpool and England great Steven Gerrard during the forthcoming 2018/19 campaign.

He is optimistic that both Goldson and Katic can handle the pressure to succeed which will be on their shoulders despite being just 25 and 21 respectively.

“It is going to be the same for Connor and Nikola as it was for Bruno,” he said. “They are playing in a position where there is no mercy if you make a mistake.

“But they are young and hungry and the fact that a few clubs were keen to sign Connor is a good sign for me. Hopefully they can work hard and form a good partnership at the back and do well.”