Saturday, 13 July 2019

As Rangers make eighth signing, Steven Gerrard has a big decision to make...

With Rangers today confirming the £4M capture of Sweden’s Filip Helander on a four-year deal, it raises a question. A nice question, and problem, but a problem and question all the same.

Who the hell partners him?

It is evident Filip Helander, at that price, that CV, that quality (injury troubles and form issues aside) and that reputation is going to be the first choice at the back. That isn’t even a debate. Anyone who thinks a new player of his standing is going to have to earn his place has probably ignored Jones’ instant installation as first-choice left winger or Ojo’s place on the right, albeit the latter may have Arfield for company down the line.

No, the question in defence over Helander comes in who will be his partner.

The obvious answer for many will be Goldson, given we shelled out £3M, and while he was good last season, he wasn’t exceptional, and only really thrived when partnered with elder statesman Gareth McAuley. This appeared to be a good mix of experience on McAuley’s part with the relative youth of Goldson.

Goldson with Katic or Worrall didn’t quite convince as much later in the season, after a bright start for the first pairing.

No, Helander will be first choice, but who of these three will partner him?

Will it be Goldson with his similar age to Helander, but lesser physicality and lesser dominance in the air, but decent composure on the deck, similar to the Swede?

Or could it be Katic – a much more physical defender than any of the other 3 Rangers have, but who has still got a bit to learn and is prone to gaffes?

Or perhaps Edmundson – great distribution from the back, and willing to roll his sleeves up, but maybe not quite the brute force stopping of Katic.

Steven Gerrard now has real depth at the back. Four decent CBs, one with an especially excellent CV albeit with marginal doubts.

But who would be your choice, Bears?

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