Alan Hutton has welcomed the news that Nikola Katic has left Glasgow Rangers on loan for the rest of the 2021/22 season.
The Lowdown: Katic leaves
On transfer deadline day, the Ibrox club confirmed that the Croatia defender had left on loan to join Hadjuk Split.
Should Rangers have kept Katic?
Steven Gerrard’s side also have a recall option on the centre-back for January.
The Latest: Hutton on Katic
Speaking to Football Insider, former Light Blues right-back Hutton has welcomed the club’s decision to send Katic out on loan. He said:
“I think it’s a perfect move for everyone involved.
“I feel for him because he is only 24. He has had a serious injury and has been out for a long time.
“When he played, he looked like a rock back there.
“He probably understands that he needs playing time, and he’s not going to get it at Rangers.
“If you recall back to the start of the window, Gerrard said he needed to move centre-backs on.
“I thought then he would be one to leave, because of his injury.
“If he can go away and get that game time and come back to Rangers, I think he can come back a stronger and better player and fit right into the team.
“Rangers will be monitoring him closely.”
The Verdict: Great move
Hutton is right- it is certainly an ideal move for all parties involved that Katic has been allowed to leave on loan.
The Croatia international has not played for the Gers since the 2019/20 campaign due to a serious injury incurred last year and has made 59 appearances in total over all competitions, scoring six goals and supplying three assists (Transfermarkt).
Gerrard already has four established centre-backs that he can call upon in his squad, so it is unlikely that Katic would have had much game-time if he stayed this season.
At 24 years of age, he still has potential to improve further, so sending him out on loan was the best choice in terms of helping him continue his development.
Katic should feel comfortable playing in his home country of Croatia with Hajduk Split, and hopefully come back to Scotland a better player.
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