Filip Helander Deserves His Place In The Rangers Team

You’ve got to feel a bit for Nikola Katic at Rangers. The Croatian started his Gers career off well last season and was then dropped in favour of loanee Joe Worrall.

In truth I don’t think Katic deserved to play second fiddle to the Englishman for much of last term but it’s Steven Gerrard’s opinion that really counts.

Then the Croat was back in the Gers starting eleven for the start of this current campaign and he again impressed.

Yet he’s now been dropped again with Filip Helander being used as the preferred central defensive partner to play alongside Connor Goldson.

But in fairness to Filip, he does look the part.

We shouldn’t be overly surprised that the Swede is now getting a run in the team, Rangers shelled out around £3.5m to sign the Swedish international from Bologna in the summer (Source Sky Sports).

While I really like Katic and he didn’t do anything dramatically wrong, Rangers do look stronger with Helander in their back four.

The twenty-six year old adds extra presence and experience in the backline. He remains composed and also seems to thrive when he’s in a battle with a combative opposing forward.

In particular Helander has come to the fore in the Europa League. He was very good in the tackle against Feyenoord at Ibrox and he was tremendous in the away draw with FC Porto.

He followed up that performance in Porto with another solid display against Motherwell.

It didn’t go unnoticed by Gerrard:

“He did ever so well over in Portugal and today he has stepped up and been a leader again. I’m delighted with what he’s done this week.”

Via The Herald

Another bonus to playing Helander, is that you get a more focused and disciplined Connor Goldson. The former Brighton & Hove Albion defender looked sloppy alongside Katic against Celtic in September. Goldson has undoubtedly stepped up his game when Filip has came into the Gers side.

Helander is comfortable with the ball at his feet and he can even thread through passes to the forwards and create attacks. At 6ft 4, he can dominate in the air and he has great awareness and positional skills.

His stats show that Rangers are performing extremely well with the Swede in the team:

In Rangers’ last Scottish Premiership game they came up against a very efficient Livingston side, who have a strong competitor up-top in Lyndon Dykes. Yet between them Helander and Goldson snuffed him out for most of the game as Rangers went on to record a comfortable 2-0 away win ( Match Report).

That’s the main thing you get with Filip Helander, consistency! He likes to win and that has made the back four a lot stronger.

As I already said, I feel for Nikola Katic but fear he just has to wait as he won’t get ahead of Helander anytime soon.

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