Record Sport’s Gavin Berry has revealed he thinks Borna Barisic has blown his chance of playing for Rangers.
The Croatia international’s future at Ibrox has been a topical debate this summer as his debut campaign for the Ibrox outfit hardly went as many would have hoped, or even expected after they splashed out £2.2m for the former NK Osijek defender.
The left-back was thought to be open to offers at one point after being linked with a move to French outfit Dijon (Soccer Link), however a report by Football Insider had later revealed that the 26-year-old had won over Steven Gerrard and had saved his Ibrox career.
The manager had appeared to lose patience with Barisic last season because of injuries he had picked up whilst on international duty, as he was furious to lose the defender before their Old Firm clash with Celtic and believed the player should have returned as quickly as possible (Evening Times), something he has since admitted there had been a misunderstanding that had been resolved (Scottish Sun).
He provided six assists in his 23 appearances in the 2018/19 campaign and appeared to continue that fine form this season in their first-leg win against Gibraltarian outfit St Joseph’s when he contributed a further two more.
However, he was slammed by fans for his performance in their Europa League match against Progres Niederkorn, in which he was substituted at half-time, and has since only been involved in their game against Kilmarnock in the Scottish Premiership opener (Transfermarkt).
And, Berry believes that is a sign that the player may have blown his chance of playing any more football for Gerrard this season, despite the left-back area being a problem for the club.
Speaking on the Record Rangers podcast (Daily Record), he said: “He has obviously given him (Barisic) that run out at Kilmarnock and it looks as if that was his chance. Opening league game of the season, there’s your opportunity, go and take it.
“Steven Gerrard was saying after the game, ‘I have three fit left-backs’, but Barisic really is the one who should be playing there and if he isn’t up to it then I think Rangers need to be looking for another one.
“That position is a worry because once the tests get a bit stiffer, and as much as it was a consolation goal against Midjtylland when Jon Flanagan was at fault, it’s a problem area. Also, Andy Halliday didn’t have his best of games at East Fife.
“Over the summer we said Barisic wasn’t in the same category as Eros Grezda and maybe Gerrard had seen something that made him think he was worth another chance. But if that chance was Kilmarnock and that was it and he really believes now he isn’t up to it then he has to go and address it.”
The fact that Barisic did not even get the chance to play against East Fife – where Rangers made ten changes to their team at the weekend – would appear to back up the idea that the Croatian is not the answer for the Light Blues and, perhaps, his time at Ibrox is coming to an end.
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