Niko Katic might be back in Govan and raring to go but once again he has a mountain of players ahead of him and despite his prominence in preseason, there’s only a slim chance Katic has any foothold in Gio’s thinking.
Goldson, obviously, is first choice, first pick, and it’s up to a glut of players to prove themselves his partner. Yes, Gio will use 3 at the back now and then, but that will mainly be Europe and against Celtic, and shouldn’t be seen as a primary formation.
John Souttar, Filip Helander, Calvin Bassey, Jack Simpson and Leon King are all vying for, at the most, two slots next to Goldson, along with Katic, and while we have to make personnel assumptions for the sake of argument, nevertheless Bassey and Souttar are surely the main two.
And Bassey is another one who will ALWAYS play.
So, we’re looking at Goldson and Bassey, with Souttar either on the bench or partnering Goldson with Bassey as LB.
What we’re getting at is behind these are Helander and King, with Katic a toss of a coin.
That coin is simple:
Either Katic is part of Gio’s plans going forward, or he isn’t – it’s a blank slate for the Croat. Gerrard, who wasn’t interested in him, is gone, and now he has a second chance to impress a new manager at Rangers.
Either he will or won’t – and if he does, Niko Katic could be back from the brink as a completely new prospect in defence.
And it really is all about quality depth.
The form Niko showed in late 2019 was as good as any defender we’ve seen at Ibrox – we’d love to see that again.
Gio? Niko? It’s over to you.