Antonio Colak’s name surfaces again and again in the mainstream press, and rather than give any credibility to the stories linking him with a move to Serie B, we will acknowledge there is some German interest in him, particularly Bremen.
But what is the future for the German-born Croat at Ibrox, and with Michael Beale signing Sam Lammers and Cyriel Dessers especially, where does the ex-Malmo man fit in?
One thing we must be clear on, is that despite our own outrage at Michael Beale’s disinterest in him, the manager and the player themselves have both confirmed he was injured for a lot of Beale’s debut season.
By the time he regained full fitness, Beale preferred to go with ex-Rangers striker Alfredo Morelos, based on familiarity as much as anything else.
In short, a mixture of injury and losing a bit of momentum/favour were the major reasons Colak wasn’t overly used after Beale took over.
Now, the key question is why Beale chose Morelos even when he’d clearly downed tools over Colak who was ready to give it all. We believe that, again, was familiarity – Beale mostly played the season out with players he and Steven Gerrard had signed, the only exception being American Malik Tillman and, due to lack of alternatives, Ben Davies.
Aside those, the players secured under Giovanni van Bronckhorst were mostly unfavoured, or, often, injured.
So now we have a shiny new season and Beale, having signed Dessers and Lammers, still has the Croatian on his roster.
Colak, for his part, is doing everything right in preseason – he’s worked hard on his fitness, and tellingly, he looks genuinely happy in Germany, always a big smile on his face.
Does this mean he’s about to play a much bigger role going forward? Or maybe he knows there’s a move in the offing. Who knows.
The case for Colak, of course, is goals – he is a massive goalscorer for Rangers and his record was sensational last season. 13 goals and 3 assists in 24 is a banging return by anyone’s standards, and it would have been more but for injury.
He only started 6 times under Michael Beale – 3 goals and an assist isn’t bad there either.
And he will know, like any footballer, that a club as big as Rangers needs lots of top competition.
He now has Cyriel Dessers as his main rival for the shirt, but don’t assume Dessers will be the man. Think back to how slow Ridvan started – Borna kept his place and even upped his game despite the £5.5M investment in the Turk. Colak may not be out of it just yet.
Rangers paid big money for Dessers, for Lammers – one would assume they’ll play, but equally, if those signings push existing ones to raise their game, that’s equally good use of the money.
Either way, we can’t predict how Colak’s story will go now, but we’d love to see him remain in Govan and play a big part in our future still.