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Profit Players: Rangers’ Nikola Katic

This article forms part of our Profit Players feature, which is where Football Transfer Tavern takes a look at how well a player has turned out since being signed/sold and using statistical figures and statements from pundits to prove how good of a deal the club managed to achieve.

Although Rangers may have only signed Nikola Katic last summer, one season at Ibrox appears to have shown evidence that the Gers may be onto a winner.

Steven Gerrard made the Croatia international his fifth signing as the Light Blues manager when he splashed out a fee thought to be in the region of £2m for him from Slaven Belupo, according to a report by Sky Sports.

Things have not always gone swimmingly for Katic whilst in Glasgow, as he found himself in and out of the picture at times in his debut campaign. The 22-year-old managed to make just 30 appearances for the Gers last season, with just one of those coming in the Europa League (Transfermarkt).

The centre-back admitted that he was infuriated by the lack of playing time, although revealed that he respected Gerrard’s decision not to play him as often as he liked and realised he needed to perform better (Daily Record), something that he appears to have managed to do.

Competition for places at the back is tough at Rangers, with the likes of Connor Goldson, George Edmundson and Filip Helander all vying for the opportunity, whilst last season saw Joe Worrall and Gareth McAuley both in the mix as well.

However, the addition of the big Sweden international may have helped motivate Katic further and made him realise just what he needs to do to have a regular place in the side.

Gerrard admitted prior to the second-leg against FC Midtjylland that he could not introduce Helander to his starting XI just yet because of how well the Croatian has bounced back (The Herald).

Gary McAllister has also been impressed with the 22-year-old’s performances in recent weeks and feels he is on top of his game and believes he had made it difficult to be dropped at the time.

“When the opportunity does come he has to grab it and catch the manager’s eye. His arrival has definitely helped to lift Nikola Katic’s game,” he told The Evening Times.

“Maybe the arrival of Joe Worrall last season had the opposite effect because he came in and took Niko’s position and Niko has learned from that and he’s been very strong in both boxes.

“We come under pressure in some of the European games but the clearances and headers have been vital and it would be hard to split up that Goldson-Katic pairing at the moment.”

Indeed, it might be difficult to suggest how well the club have done in bringing him to Ibrox for such a relatively small fee in today’s transfer market, however he certainly looks to be a top prospect.

Having played in nine games so far this season, he has helped the club keep six clean sheets and proven instrumental in helping Gerrard’s side have a second crack at the Europa League group stages for another year.

Rangers fans, do you think the club struck gold having signed Katic for just £2m? Let us know your thoughts by sharing them in the comments section below!

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Profit Players: Rangers’ Nikola Katic
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