STEVEN Gerrard has revealed Rangers midfielder Scott Arfield has been dealing with an off-field issue in recent weeks and pledged to do everything he can to support his player.

Arfield has sometimes struggled to reproduce the form he showed in his appearances for the Ibrox club last season during the 2019/20 campaign.

However, Gerrard believes the 31-year-old would have been entitled to take a break from football due to an undisclosed personal matter.

“He's had a situation off the field rumbling on, that he's had for a few weeks and is his private business,” he said. “It's up to him whether he divulges that or not. He's had a tough few weeks.

“Fans don't see that kind of thing and I don't want to divulge too much of his private business.

“But it's my responsibility to protect Scott. That's what I try to do when sometimes a player has a situation where they're not themselves.

“But what I'll say about Scott Arfield is that he's always there for you. Maybe other people might have stayed away from the place so fair play to him, he's some man.

“He's one that's still very much part of our plans and I really appreciate what he's given us since he came through the door, on and off the pitch. We won't turn him away, for sure.”

Arfield represented Canada in the CONCACAF Gold Cup in the United States in June and helped his country, who he qualifies to play for through his Toronto-born father, reach the quarter-finals.

But the former Falkirk, Huddersfield and Burnley player was back playing for Rangers in their Europa League qualifier against St Joseph’s of Gibraltar little over a fortnight later.

Gerrard, whose team take on Hearts at Ibrox in the Ladbrokes Premiership this afternoon, is unsure if the lack of a break in the summer has affected the player, but is confident he can get back to his best.

“Only Scott can answer the question of how he feels and whether last summer has had an effect on him,” he said.

“In terms of form, Scott will be the first to admit that he's maybe not hit the heights of last season. But he set such high standards last year, certainly towards the end of the campaign when he was on fire. He was in the zone.

“Scott is a player that we trust. We'll stay with him and keep believing that he'll get back to his best form.”