Colak for Rangers? Beale updates Croat’s place at Ibrox

Colak for Rangers? Beale updates Croat’s place at Ibrox
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - AUGUST 16: Antonio-Mirko Colak of Rangers celebrates after scoring their team's first goal during the UEFA Champions League Play-Off First Leg match between Rangers FC and PSV Eindhoven at Ibrox Stadium on August 16, 2022 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Michael Beale has contradicted media reports claiming Antonio Colak is to be sold, by confirming he is very much in his plans for next season, and claims the Croat’s lack of match time was injury-related and nothing more.

Speaking properly about the German-born Croatia international’s maiden season and future at the club, Beale was gushing of praise about his goal-fest under Giovanni van Bronckhorst, and suggested that at no point since he’d become manager had he really had two fit strikers to choose from.

He said:

“For Antonio’s first season at Rangers, in terms of starts, his goal return is fantastic. The reality is since November he has had an on-off time with injuries. When I came in he was injured but he came back and played a few games, he scored two goals against Hibs and he was fantastic. He played up front with Fashion Sakala and that night was as good as we have played under me. Ryan Kent played behind with Todd Cantwell, so I have no issue with Antonio’s style. He has just not had an opportunity to get a run of games. Alfredo has been injured, so has Antonio, so we have had to play the striker who is fit rather than picking. Moving forward there will be competition coming into the squad and Tony will fight it out with those guys. His goalscoring record gives me optimism, if he has a good pre-season and comes out of it, then I will get the Antonio Colak we had in August in September. Does he have a future? Yeah. He will have to take on the challenge like everyone else. I want to drive competition in the squad and he won’t shy away from it and he backs himself. If someone doesn’t want competition then they aren’t at the right club moving forward.”

The telling part of this quote is that he now says he has no issue with Colak’s style – indeed, why would he, Colak has been the best striker in the country this season but for injury – indeed, the only issue with Colak was the stuff we spoke about in a previous entry.

But we do know he has issue with Colak’s style, because the lad has been perfectly fit plenty of times and simply wasn’t favoured.

Has he been mismanaged? Absolutely. There is a spot of economy with the truth there from Beale, who suggests the hitman has been mostly injured since Beale came in, which is a big fat lie. Colak has been on the bench a tonne under Beale, and been brought on redundantly as a sub, which is a role he cannot play. He’s never scored from the bench in the Rangers shirt.

But from starts? Under Beale? As we reported before, 3 in 5 and an assist.

So time will tell if this is further Beale nonsense or if he is actually ready to build a team around Colak, who, if fed right, if set up right, will score for absolute fun.

And yet, many Rangers fans don’t rate him one bit. Of course they don’t.

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