As our earlier piece alluded to, Swedish £3M signing Filip Helander spent yet more time on the bench for his nation during the Euro 2020 qualifiers, to add to the bench time he’s suffered at Ibrox.
But, the sympathy we have with the ex-Bologna man is that he joined Rangers to get off the Italian bench at Bologna. Rangers paid £3M for this Swedish international, and a couple of appearances all seasons is all he’s managed.
There are two sides to this ‘issue’, and both are equally valid.
The first is the farce of wasting £3M on a player who’s ended up as squad material. That he joined us to play, to get away from the bench in Italy’s top flight, being a player out of favour with coach Sinisa Mihajlovic, and instead of sitting on their bench, he’s now sitting on ours. We feel a genuine regret over this, and that he must have assumed he’d have a fair shout of getting football at Ibrox, and yet he hasn’t.
But the second is that while it’s cost £3M, the competition has got the best and even better out of rising Croat superstar Niko Katic who has looked absolutely sensational this season, far superior we’ll bet to what Steven Gerrard even believed he could ascend to. Having a strong pool of defensive options (George Edmundson has shown excellent promise during his few outings as well) is paramount for a club like Rangers, and that Katic has been propelled into ‘asset’ territory over the course of this season is a testament to having a player like Helander on the bench.
It is unfortunate for the Swede, but the club must come first – while it’s (sadly) costing him his career right now, and the decent humans that we are we don’t want to see that, it is a team game and his presence and desire to play is only making Niko Katic play even better – and that benefits Rangers in every way.
We can’t see any time soon where he (or indeed Edmundson) will become regulars bar injury to either Katic or indeed Goldson, but nevertheless, their presence is giving us one heck of a back line.
And that works.