Friday, January 28, 2022

Rangers Defender Is Drawing Interest From Italy: Should Gerrard Sanction The Move?

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Pratyay Maitra
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According to Glasgow Live, a report from Croatia has come up with an update on the future of Rangers star Nikola Katic. A horrific cruciate ligament injury ruled him out for the entire 2020-21 season and the promising centre-half might be allowed to step up his recovery away from Ibrox amid interest from Spezia Calcio.

However, the defender won’t be joining the Serie A side on permanent terms. It would be a loan spell to grab first-team football, something he might not attain instantly having lost his place to the likes of Filip Helander, Leon Balogun and Jack Simpson. The Croatian is still rated highly in the Gers camp, but maximum game-time is essential to regain fitness and form.

One of Steven Gerrard’s early signings, Katic has featured 59 times across competitions donning the Rangers colours. He, alongside Connor Goldson, formed a stable central defensive pairing and the 24-year-old former Slaven Belupo prodigy was supposed to retain his regular role if things had gone in his favour.

Meanwhile, the Bears have not sanctioned George Edmundson’s transfer despite an offer from Peterborough United. Minutes were hard to come by at Rangers and a suspension last year for breaching covid protocols further jeopardized his Glasgow future. He was then shipped to Derby County on a short-term loan during the winter window and the spell worked well overall for the Englishman, even though he made only 10 Championship appearances under Wayne Rooney.

Rangers star Nikola Katic in action
Football – 2019 / 2020 UEFA Europa League – Round of Thirty-Two, First Leg: Rangers vs. Sporting Braga Nikola Katic of Rangers vies with Galeno of SC Braga, at Ibrox Stadium. COLORSPORT/BRUCE WHITE PUBLICATIONxNOTxINxUK

Edmundson has so far been involved in the pre-season friendlies and it looks like he would be handed more opportunities to impress the gaffer. He must be determined to recover lost ground and stake a claim in Gerrard’s plans for the upcoming term. The young centre-back is still ahead of Katic in the pecking order and the club, therefore, should let him join the Liguria-based outfit if an approach is made in the coming days.

Why Rangers Should Reintegrate Katic In Due Time

Having said that, the Light Blues might encounter a crisis next summer in the heart of the backline. Goldson has not penned a new contract yet with less than a year left in his current deal, whereas 33-yar-old Balogun is likely to occupy a squad role until the summer of 2022. Helander has his suitors in Premier League and the Scottish giants might eventually lose their Swedish ace if he continues to impress in deep defence.

Katic has shown early promises with great aerial as well as physical supremacy. His game-reading and sense of positioning have vastly improved with time, also the confidence with the ball at his feet depicted signs of a modern-day centre-half. Rangers, therefore, won’t want to lose the Croatia international without monitoring his recuperation.

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