Michael Beale has today confirmed long-term injury absentee Ridvan Yilmaz is finally fully fit and will be available for selection this weekend in the Scottish Cup v Raith Rovers.
The Turkish left back, signed in a blaze of publicity (and some surprise) from Super Lig giants Besiktas at a whopping £6M, has been a disaster of an addition, with us deep into March before he might even be pushing for a place.
A combination of struggling to settle in, language, and ‘fish out of water’ took him months before he was looking a little bit more in tune, only for that very moment to see a horrible six month injury rule him out just as he finally began to look in place.
So here we are, deep into March and the young Turk is at long last available for use, with his certain to be on the bench at the weekend and maybe making himself a cameo appearance.
Unfortunately for Ridvan, Borna Barisic is right back into full form and will take some dislodging from his current slot. When we originally brought Ridvan in, Ibrox Noise was among those sounding the death bell on the Croat’s Rangers career, given you don’t spend £6M for a player to be benched.
But it just hasn’t worked out yet for the young defender and then injury compounded his issues.
But he’s back. Is he the future? In fairness he is a ready-made Borna replacement, with the current first pick aging quite rapidly these days. He’s 30 now, when did that happen, but Ridvan is just 21 with his whole career ahead of him.
So he’d expect to play more now.
It may come down to who wants it more, and it’s good that Borna now has genuine competition, which has been lurking in the background and may have spurred the Croatian onto better form.
What’s best for Rangers is what counts and Ridvan’s return to fitness pushing Borna on or even winning the place from him is the best direction forwards.
We look forward to hopefully seeing the Turk finally at his best.