Rangers manager Steven Gerrard’s defender cull has begun in earnest with the sale of George Edmundson. The 23-year old’s departure south leaves Rangers with five defenders on the books, and the boss has been clear that four is his magic number.
It’s also clear that his vision includes Connor Goldson, Filip Helander and Leon Balogun, but that leaves one slot.
So is it Jack Simpson or Nikola Katic?
The smart money is currently on Katic making way and either going out on loan or being outright sold.
Now, many reading this might consider that outrageous – he’s Niko Katic, we love him, and he’s shown just how great he can potentially be.
The problem is once a player has missed anything like a season of football, Steven Gerrard and Rangers move on and they’re left behind. Once Jamie Murphy got that injury in 2018, he was finished at Ibrox. He was a regular under Stevie initially, but Killie ended his Rangers career. Once fit again, the manager just wasn’t interested.
And we envisage a similar stance over Katic, in truth.
Jack Simpson might not have impressed many fans, but Stevie’s been clear that Katic will take a lot of minutes to get back, and we shouldn’t expect to see a lot of him over the coming months. That, to us, was a hint of getting him out on loan, or indeed sale. Ergo Simpson is probably a lot closer to the first team than the Croat is.
Fans might not like it, they might love Niko and want him back, but Stevie has his ways and his methods and this is one of them.
So don’t hold your breath on it being Katic’s season after all, but we may be wrong.