Why Borna Barisic is an exciting signing for Rangers
Barisic, 25, who impressed Steven Gerrard during the Europa League qualifiers against NK Osijek, became Rangers’ 11th signing of the summer.
It has just been weeks after Barisic captained NK Osijek at Ibrox, as they were eliminated from the Europa League in the qualifying stages. Although the Croatian side lost against Rangers, Barisic left a strong impression with his overall performance and a goal in Scotland.
Following the Croat’s display at Ibrox, Gerrard wasted no further time in making Barisic his 11th signing of the summer. It is an exciting deal for the Gers, who dropped points in the season opener at Aberdeen last weekend.
The left-back position appeared to be the weak link in Gerrard’s squad despite summer signing Jon Flanagan performing well on the left-hand side of the defence. Flanagan can do a decent job at left-back for the whole season but it is not his preferred position and a specialist in the position would be a welcome addition.
And that’s exactly why Gerrard has signed Barisic. He came through the ranks at NK Osijek but has also had spells at NSK Bijedlo Brdo, Dinamo Zagreb and Lokomotiva (on loan).
The 25-year-old has three caps for the national team till date and was in the side’s World Cup qualification campaign squad. Bue he only made the bench for games against Turkey and Kosovo. Barisic was included in Croatia’s initial 32-man pool for the World Cup finals but missed out on the 23-man squad.
Barisic is a leader and leads by example. He is a top tackler, can take penalties, send crosses into the box with his sweet left-foot and drive his team forward with energy. Standing at 6ft 1in, Barisic will add a lot of physicality and aggressiveness to the side, which is exactly what Gerrard wants in his team.
The Croatian could be Gerrard’s first choice left-back, or left wing-back if he changes his formation to three at the back. Barisic will compete with Flanagan for the left-back slot and the healthy competition is exactly what the Rangers need at the moment.
Read more: Who is this £2.5m Rangers target who Gerrard opted not to sign? A mistake by the manager?
At Ibrox, Barisic joins up with fellow Croatian Nikola Katic and he will hope his decision to join Rangers helps him cement a place in Croatian national team squad. A passionate, committed and a solid defender, Barisic is indeed an exciting signing for the Gers.