Nikola Katic tonight has a big chance to stake a permanent case in Steven Gerrard’s Rangers after the Croat was named in the starting XI to face the painfully under-achieving England coached by the seemingly disappointing Aidy Boothroyd.
England, of course, have crashed out of this tournament without a single point, and sadly for Katic’s men, Croatia have done exactly the same thing, but both sides have a chance to make some sort of consolation prize in arguably the fixture which was probably meant to decide the group winner (albeit France’s U21 side ain’t half bad either).
Katic will face the likes of Tammy Abraham and Demarai Gray, players who had been expected to deliver way more for Boothroyd’s side but who haven’t lived up to it, while Katic for his pain conceded one to former Celtic man Moussa Dembele – and this is a big chance for the colossal Croat to show himself arriving on the international stage.
Steven Gerrard is likely to be watching on as both a supporter of his summer 2018 signing and the England national side, so Katic would do well to deliver a good performance tonight and show he’s the one who deserves to retain his place ahead of new arrival George Edmundson.
Of course, with our poll showing the bulk of fans want to keep Katic in regardless of the signing of Edmundson, this may be something which is already on Stevie’s mind, but equally Edmundson is his new signing and new signings always stand a strong chance of selection by the power of ‘new shiny player’ syndrome.
The former Slaven Belupo man could prove, on a big international stage like this, against players familiar to the manager, that he is the man to be the first choice CB at Ibrox.
One thing is for sure, we don’t have to be worried about it being a Nottingham Forest player any more (!)