Steven Gerrard and Fashion Sakala enjoyed a Rangers reunion at the weekend as they linked up for the first time since both made the move to Saudi.

The meet-up in the Roshn Saudi League saw Sakala’s Al Fayha play Al Ettifaq, whom former Ibrox boss Gerrard manages.

The Zambian attacker – who enjoyed a warm embrace before the game and a long chat afterwards with the man who signed him for Rangers – had two golden chances to win the match, which finished 0-0.

Sakala, however, hit the post from a tight angle after rounding the goalkeeper and then later saw a one-on-one shot partially saved before being cleared by former Celtic defender Jack Hendry near the goal line.

Gerrard said: “You could see in the game against us that he was a threat and I’m glad he never scored because I wouldn’t have heard the end of it! But I love Fashion Sakala, he’s a special boy, and he should never change.

“Fashion Sakala is one of the nicest, most humble guys I have ever met, never mind coached. He’s a wonderful boy – he’s happy, he’s bright, he wants to learn every day, and he appreciates being a professional footballer. He was a joy to coach and work with and I’m so happy that he is doing well here.”

Twenty-six-year-old Sakala, who has the African Cup of Nations to look forward to with Zambia in the new year, has scored six goals in 19 games in all competitions for Al Fahya this season. His side, who play in orange shirts and socks and blue shorts, are eighth in the Roshn Saudi League table with 16 points, one place and six points behind Gerrad’s Al Ettifaq.

Sakala joined Gerrard at Rangers in the summer of 2021 before moving to Al Fahya in the Roshn Saudi League this summer. Al Etiffaq boss Gerrard also moved to Saudi Arabia in the summer, having managed Aston Villa in the Premier League in between.

Sakala said: “It's always special to see the man who trusted me playing for Rangers. I had a good time with him, and it was nice to see him. It’s just unlucky that I didn’t score – I tried, I really wanted to score! It’s just unfortunate. It’s always a pleasure to meet such legends in the game and getting good advice from him is always a pleasure.”

Al Fayha’s Serbian manager Vuk Rasovic revealed he made signing Sakala – who moved from Rangers to the Kingdom for a reported £3million – a priority purchase.

Rasovic said: “Fashion, he was my wish. I am very thankful to the board for bringing him here. We had long conversations with Rangers to bring him, and in the end he came. I’m glad he did.

“He enjoys playing football and he always plays with a smile. I’ve told him he must score more goals – but I saw his hug with Steven Gerrard and joked with him ‘ah, now I know why you didn’t score!’”

All jokes from his manager aside, Sakala says he is loving playing football in Saudi Arabia.

He said: “I’m enjoying playing in Saudi Arabia very much. The league is good. I wish I had scored on Saturday; I was really looking forward to scoring and it was just unfortunate not to score. I tried my best and the team played very well. That’s the most important thing. I think that the team that we are building is looking very good and I think you could see that in the way we played. It’s just unfortunate we didn’t score but a point is better than losing. I’m looking forward to better games.”