Monday, February 6, 2023

Rangers Summer Recruit Opens Up On Future Amid Exit Talks: What’s Next For The Youngster?

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Pratyay Maitra
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There have been speculations on Ridvan Yilmaz’s potential return to Turkey after a difficult few months at Rangers following his summer move from Besiktas. But the young left fullback has dismissed the rumours as he is keen on experiencing a fresh challenge under the new manager.

 “I want to play in the top leagues in Europe until the age of 28 or 29 at least and prove myself. So I have no intention of returning to Turkish football right now.”

The 21-year-old has told the Turkish media (as quoted by The Herland) amid the rumoured interest from Galatasaray and Trabzonspor back in his homeland.

Yilmaz progressed through the academy ranks of the Black Eagles before breaking into their senior squad in April 2019. He featured more frequently from the 2020-21 campaign onward and eventually cemented a starting status. Following 62 seniors appearances in all competitions, the youngster completed a £3.4m (potentially rising to £5m, as reported by Sky Sports) transfer to Ibrox.

While the Turkey international was supposed to replace Borna Barisic down the left hand side of the defence, a slow start to life in Scotland restricted his minutes under Giovanni van Bronckhorst. He has only appeared 7 times so far this season, and his form and fitness woes refrained him from securing a first-team role ahead of the Croatian.

Ridvan Yilmaz

Yilmaz Must Challenge Barisic For His Rangers Role

Meanwhile, Barisic has been one of the brightest sparks of Rangers‘ gloomy campaign. Despite the Light Blues’ humiliation in the Champions League, the 30-year-old veteran has maintained a certain standard with a balanced display down the left-hand flank. So far he has appeared 25 times across Premiership and European outings, and his excellence this term earned him a place in Zlatko Dalić’s FIFA World Cup squad.

Although he is the understudy to Borna Sosa who played full 90 minutes versus Morocco, making it to Qatar is indeed a great achievement, particularly after a tough spell with his club.

Rangers, on the other hand, are desperate to bounce back post-World Cup break. They have relieved Van Bronckhorst from his duties and are eyeing Steven Gerrard’s former assistant Michael Beale as his successor who is doing a commendable job at Queens Park Rangers.

It’s a boost for Yilmaz who must be determined to impress the new chief in the training ground. He is only in his early 20s and has a long career road ahead of him. It remains to be seen though whether the young defender lives up to the expectations during the second half of the season.

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