Rangers Ridvan Yilmaz has waited a LONG time at Ibrox

Rangers Ridvan Yilmaz has waited a LONG time at Ibrox
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - MARCH 14: Ridvan Yilmaz and Connor Goldson of Rangers are seen at full time during the UEFA Europa League 2023/24 round of 16 second leg match between Rangers FC and SL Benfica at Ibrox Stadium on March 14, 2024 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

We doubt there’s ever been a Rangers player who waited as long as Rıdvan Yılmaz to become a first-team fixture and affirmed regular in the Ibrox XI.

For the best part of 16 months, the ex-Besiktas defender had to sit by as Borna Barisic remained glued to the left back slot, getting only a handful of appearances now and then.

The rampant speculation from his homeland, which does this to all players from their country, true, ambushed constantly about his unhappiness in Scotland, or his returning to Turkey imminently.

Turkish press are notorious for this, the same issue has happened with Ianis Hagi who of course, despite being a Romanian international, is actually Turkish, and their press have been aggressive with his name too.

But despite all that, Yilmaz has stuck to his task in Glasgow, acclimatising, and has now completely learned English as well, which a certain Colombian never bothered with.

Yilmaz never wanted to fail at Rangers, he wanted this move to be his becoming a man – he wanted to grow up, experience something new and radically different to his homeland, and while we’d never pretend the pressure at Besiktas is modest, because it’s not, you’ve never experienced the real pressure until you’ve been at Rangers.

And Yilmaz has grown up. He’s become a man, and he’s become, surely, the best left back in Scottish football, unless you think Greg Taylor is better. We certainly don’t.

But enough about them lot, Yilmaz is what matters, and this season has been much, much more like it from the 2022 signing.

He cost £4.5M rising to £6M, and has made 15 starts this campaign – yes, his Rangers career has had some injury to deal with, but Barisic was always the favourite.

That’s changed under Philippe Clement who now goes with the 22-year-old by default.

Does he have the crossing of Barisic? Yes, he does. You might be shocked to hear Yilmaz’ game has improved so much he sits 7th in the SPL for accurate crosses with 41, Barisic is 12th with 35.

So anyone thinking Barisic has the better left peg, the stats don’t agree with you. Tav is number two with 75 (Greg Taylor has 11).

So there’s no reason for Yilmaz to ever lose his spot, and if ever anyone else earned it more than he, we’d love to know who it is.

Let’s hope we keep him for a long time.

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