Rangers manager Steven Gerrard has issued a positive update regarding the future of defender Borna Barisic at the club.
The Daily Record reported quotes from the 39-year-old saying that the Croatian left-back is close to agreeing a new deal with the club, having been linked with a possible move to Serie A club Roma this month (as per Sunday Post).
As per the Daily Record, Gerrard said: “We are in talks, so it is getting closer as the days go by. I am confident because the boy is happy. I have a fantastic relationship with Borna and he seems really settled here. He took a bit of time to settle but he has got the fans right where you want them. He is getting the support from the terraces his performances deserve. When you are happy as a footballer you should stay put.”
As noted by the Sunday Post, Barisic had previously incurred the wrath of Gerrard over a poor performance in a training ground friendly, but this season the 27-year-old has established himself as a key presence in Rangers’ line-up.
He has started the vast majority of games in the Premiership and was ever-present in their Europa League group stage campaign (as per TransferMarkt), and he has emerged as a major attacking outlet for the Light Blues. He already has more than a dozen assists this season, putting him high in the ranking of the club’s goal creators, and has made vital contributions in big games – he had four assists in the Europa League group stage and set up both goals in the 2-1 win over Celtic last month (as per TransferMarkt).
Aside from his evident attacking threat, Barisic also makes valuable defensive contributions on a consistent basis. He has averaged 1.8 successful tackles and 1.8 interceptions per game this season, putting him fourth and second respectively in the rankings for those metrics at Rangers (as per WhoScored). Also, while James Tavernier, Jon Flanagan and Andy Halliday are all capable of filling in at left-back, the Croatian is the only natural fit for that position in Gerrard’s squad, further highlighting his importance at Ibrox.
Barisic’s statistics from this season illustrate how crucial he is to Rangers in both a defensive and attacking sense, while the lack of any natural left-back cover serves only to heighten his value to Gerrard’s squad.
Therefore, the manager’s declaration that the Croatian is getting closer to agreeing a new deal at Ibrox is one that will likely be music to the ears of the ‘Gers faithful and should hopefully quell any fears of him departing for Roma.
Rangers fans, how relieved are you to hear that Barisic is close to signing a new deal at Ibrox? Tell us what you think in the comments section below!
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