Tuesday, November 29, 2022

‘He doesn’t want to leave’, Pundit Explains Why Rangers Must Not Worry About Fullback’s Future

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Pratyay Maitra
A sports enthusiast in his mid-twenties who reads, breathes, as well as dreams (mostly) about football and attempts to share his views with the fanatics by jotting it down. Prefers to learn through extensive interaction, communication and exploration. So don't be in a quandary and SHOOT.

Rangers are the champions of Scotland after decade-long despair and the appointment of Steven Gerrard has proved to be a masterstroke after failed spells of Mark Warburton and Pedro Caixinha following their top-flight promotion a few years back. The transformation is successful after an array of key transfers that include Borna Barisic from Osijek back in summer 2018.

The 28-year-old left-back is now representing Croatia regularly. Also, his persistent presence down the left-hand side of Gerrard’s backline brought them stability both in defence as well as attack. He has missed three games so far this season across competitions and is enjoying his time at Rangers as revealed in an interview with Rangers TV.

“Scotland is very beautiful. The people are very nice, very kind, you can talk with everyone, so I enjoy it really.”

Barisic’s blistering form might reignite transfer interests as it happened in previous windows. But the Bears must keep hold of their prized asset considering the return of Champions League football at Ibrox.

Rangers star Borna Barisic in action for Croatia
Croatia v Malta – FIFA World Cup, WM, Weltmeisterschaft, Fussball 2022 Qatar Qualifier RIJEKA, CROATIA – MARCH 30: Borna Barisic of Croatia shoots during the FIFA World Cup 2022 Qatar qualifying match between Croatia and Malta on March 30, 2021 at HNK Rijeka stadium in Rijeka, Croatia. SlavkoxMidzor/PIXSELL

Although the speculations would be there with the summer window approaching, former England and Leeds United defender Danny Mills expects him to stay beyond the current campaign (as told to Football Insider).

It’s a sign that he doesn’t want to leave. If he does stay he’s not going to upset the people. Sometimes you just want to get a bit of momentum on your side and the fans on your side. It’s just a standard ploy that most players will use. The moment he gets booed by his fans, that will change.”

What’s Next For Rangers In Terms Of The Left-back Spot

The Croatian struggled initially due to fitness concerns but settled in eventually in the Scottish environment. His 5 goals and 13 assists in 45 appearances [stats via Transfermarket] depict his expertise down the flank. The form that Barisic is in should not lead to jeers irrespective of how he performs next season. The cult status he has earned is thoroughly deserved and the fans, too, would be elated to greet their heroes once they are back in the stadium.

Rangers, however, brought in Calvin Bassey last year to challenge and cover Barisic in his usual left-back role. But the youngster had a tough time with several suspensions for breaking covid protocols and the next season is going to be a make or break one for the 21-year-old having appeared only 13 times this term altogether. He has exhibited his promises in limited minutes and the Gers should give him an opportunity to resurrect his reputation similar to Nathan Patterson in the absence of skipper James Tavernier.

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