New Rangers signing Nikola Katic has revealed the kind of defender he is, in an enlightening insight as to why Steven Gerrard and Mark Allen sought his services alongside Connor Goldson.
The 21-year old Croat is making the big move into western Europe having shone in his homeland, but Ibrox supporters probably don’t know too much about him, so the Croatian international has cleared up the type of stopper he is:
“Maybe I’m a player for duals. Here in Scotland and in England the type of football is for me, because of a lot of long balls, a lot of duals and that’s what I like.”
In other words aerial power and physical confrontation, while his partner Goldson has confirmed he likes to be on the ball and build from the back.
Katic appears to enjoy heading, while overpowering strikers and getting in blocks – the grunt and grind to Goldson’s composure and silk.
Rangers have certainly lacked real physical defenders in the SPL. Arguably the best defender on Rangers’ books the past two years was, unsurprisingly, the most physical in the shape of veteran Clint Hill. His partnership with the similarly impressive Danny Wilson was probably as close to something adequate that Rangers have had at the back since promotion, but it still wasn’t enough.
Now Rangers may just have a ‘perfect foil’ duo, a big tough Croat to soak up aerial pressure and dominate physically, while a more refined and cultured Englishman to put his foot on the ball a bit.