MARK WARBURTON was delighted with a dazzling debut from Arsenal starlet Gedion Zelalem as Rangers made it seven wins from seven games this season against Airdrie last night.

The Light Blues booked their place in the League Cup third round draw with a 5-0 win at the Excelsior Stadium thanks to goals from Nicky Clark, Andy Halliday, Martyn Waghorn, Dean Shiels and James Tavernier.

Warburton handed a starting debut to Zelalem after he completed a loan switch from the Gunners this week and the midfielder caught the eye in the middle of the park.

Zelalem was at the heart of Rangers’ attacking forays in a polished performance against the Diamonds and boss Warburton was full of praise for the Emirates kid after an impressive first outing in Light Blue.

He said: "I was delighted with him. I was delighted he got on the ball so quickly.

“Sometimes young players come in and touch the ball too often at the start.

“I think he touched the ball more in the first 15 minutes than some players touch it for the whole game.

“Delighted with his contribution, he's a very talented player. He has to keep working hard, but I have no doubt he will have a big impact for us."

Zelalem was not the only Gers star to impress as Warburton’s side raced into a 3-0 lead at half-time and all-but clinched their place in the next round.

The Light Blues had a handful of chances to extend their advantage and make their dominance show on the score board before Shiels and Tavernier completed the scoring late on.

It was another impressive showing from Rangers but Warburton will continue to strive for further improvement as attentions turn to the Championship clash with Queen of the South on Sunday.

He said: "To be respectful, I thought the way we started the game was tremendous. We were on the front foot from the start.

"For me, the only negative was the last 15 minutes of the first half. We were taking liberties with an extra touch...we shouldn't do it, there's no need.

"Touch and play had worked well for us in the first 15 minutes, why change it?

"Second half was much better. We came close to scoring more, but it was a good evening's work."

While the likes of Zelalem are set to play a key role for Rangers in the coming months, defender Marius Zaliukas is now poised to follow Darren McGregor out of Ibrox sooner rather than later.

The Lithuanian has fallen well down the pecking order in recent weeks and Warburton said: "Discussions are going on. At the moment my squad is lean and hungry. I think his time at Rangers is limited."