Ridvan blow for Rangers as Turk remains ruled out

Ridvan blow for Rangers as Turk remains ruled out
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - MARCH 14: David Neres of SL Benfica is challenged by Ridvan Yilmaz of Rangers 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)

Rangers have been hit by a ‘new’ injury blow after it was confirmed by manager Philippe Clement that he doesn’t know exactly when Turkey’s Ridvan Yilmaz will be fit again, and can only speculate that it will not be weeks.

Speaking on what we hope is his pre-Dundee pressers, the manager admitted that Yilmaz will miss the Dens Park clash, if it goes ahead, and could be out for close to a couple more weeks.

This is a problem.

Borna Barisic’s head is out of the game and Dujon Sterling isn’t a natural left back, whose qualities are wasted in that slot.

Of course, it doesn’t really matter what we say, Clement will do what he wants, pretty much as he did at Ibrox, and as much as any sensible soul will say Tav and Goldson need sidelined, that won’t happen either.

Ergo we could propose Leon Balogun as LB and as viable as that sounds, we just can’t see this manager doing it, just like with every stubborn predecessor going back to Steven Gerrard.

Which means it will be Barisic or Sterling, and neither of them are great answers.

It’s a blow, a real blow – Dundee will be a hardy opponent, who, regardless of their pitch, are in a strong position in the league and seek top 6.

They will be a major obstacle as much as their pitch will be, and Rangers could have used the best LB at the club to restore the balance that was definitely missing with Sterling occupying that berth.

For avoidance of doubt, Sterling spent most of the match in the first and second third on Sunday, and didn’t manage even a single crossing attempt, never mind any successful, so he’s not good from that position for offering any attacking gumption width or distribution.

And Barisic, of course, is a no-hoper who isn’t interested any more and was ‘ill’ in the week leading up to the Old Firm (of course he was) to avoid playing any major part.

It’s a slight pickle, and a mild headache we could do without.

Or… just pick Balogun?

Just a thought.

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