Consistent Rangers Left-back Borna Barisic Deserves All The Plaudits

I’ve lost count the amount of times on this blog that I’ve stated fans need to give new players time to settle in at a new club. Patience is especially needed when it’s a foreign player arriving at a new country.

I often cite Didier Drogba as a prime example. He made a huge move from Olympique Marseille to Chelsea in a £24m deal in 2004. Yet the Ivorian struggled to be himself in his debut season in the English Premier League, it was only after a year in England that Didier started to establish himself as the team’s top striker. He would go on to become a Blues legend, helping them to win league titles and the Champions League.

A new example of a player just needing time to shine is Croatian left-back Borna Barisic.

Last season Rangers signed the Croat after he impressed playing against them in the Europa League. Yet for much of his maiden season, Barisic struggled to impressed.

Anytime he seemed to gain any momentum, Borna would suffer from an injury, fatigue or have a disappointing performance. That would see either Jon Flanagan or midfielder Andy Haliday coming in to replace Barisic.

Many questioned if the full-back would get a second season at Ibrox. Rumours circulated that Gers manager Steven Gerrard had lost patience in the Croatian international.

Thankfully for Rangers and their fans, Gerrard showed he had faith in the twenty-seven year old and boy has he been repaid.

Borna has enjoyed a terrific second season thus far at Ibrox. He was outstanding as he first helped his club to qualify for the group stages of the Europa League and then out of a tough group. He was particularly great as Rangers beat Feyenoord in Govan, just after the death of former Gers fullback Fernando Ricksen. It was an emotional night and it called for heroes to step forward and contribute and that’s exactly what Barisic did that evening!

He also scored a vital free-kick in an away fixture against St Mirren in the Scottish Premiership and that wonder strike was the goal that gave his side an important win.

Borna Barisic hasn’t just had standout moments this term, he has also added consistency to his game. He is now probably the best left-back in the Scottish game right now.

His showing against bitter rivals Celtic in Glasgow’s East End proved that to a lot of people yesterday.

Rangers beat their opponents on their own turf for the first time since 2010. Gerrard’s men outplayed and outfought the Scottish champions and totally deserved their win.

Barisic was key to their success. The left-back was dogged and disciplined in defence. He didn’t give Celtic winger James Forrest a sniff during the game.

Borna was also terrific when he went forward. When the ball crossed into The Hoops half, the left sided defender wasn’t scared to venture forward and offer himself as an outlet. He played a fine ball into the box that was then swept into the net by Ryan Kent for the opening goal. In the second half, Barisic would deliver a lovely pinpoint corner into the Celtic box and it was met with a superb header by countryman Nikola Katic.

Personally I felt Borna Barisic was the game’s man of the match.

In the last week, Gerrard has hailed his defender’s improvement in a Gers jersey:

“Very satisfied. I think he’s been a lot more consistent this season. I think he’s shown everyone the reason why he is the number one left-back for Croatia.”

“I think he was a player that we always knew had the talent and the ability. It was about him putting it together on a regular basis.

“I think he had settling-in issues and it took him time to win the dressing room and the supporters over, but at the moment he’s in a fantastic place.”

Via OneFootball

His outstanding performances have also seen him linked him with moves to a bigger league. The Daily Record have reported that Serie A clubs AS Roma and AC Milan are currently monitoring the Croatian left-back.

Rangers end 2019 just two points behind Celtic in the Premiership table with a game in hand. That suggests Rangers really could challenge for the league title in 2020.

For that to happen they will need to have all their players playing consistently well. At the moment Borna Barisic is showing us that they won’t have any issues in the left-back role, if more step up like that then The Gers could be in for a successful new year!

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