Glasgow Rangers have started four different defenders at centre-back so far this season but questions still remain over who should be Steven Gerrard’s first-choice defensive pairing.
An injury to Nikola Katic forced the Ibrox boss to sign Leon Balogun in the summer, with George Edmundson even making a rare appearance, before he was banned by the SFA for breaching COVID rules.
In fact, it’s fair to say that Edmundson is probably the club’s last resort, as he has been warned he is “easily expendable” by former Rangers star Steven Naismith.
Balogun has been an absolute beast at the back, but he seems to be the third option at the moment, in Gerrard’s eyes at least.
Then there’s Filip Helander, who has struggled for consistency so far this season, but it seems he may have been given a lifeline after the Gers once again blew a two-goal lead to draw with Benfica in the Europa League on Thursday night.
You’d be hard pressed to find a more reliable player than Connor Goldson, who has established himself as a first-team regular starter under Gerrard, often using his ball-playing abilities at the back to get the Gers out of danger.
The marauding centre-back has become an integral part of Gerrard’s side, having bagged a brace in the first Old Firm derby of the season.
The Gers key man, who earns wages worth £27,000-per-week, which makes him one the club’s highest earners, was quite simply not in the game against the Portuguese giants on Thursday.
Per SofaScore, Goldson was given an average grade of 6.8 out of ten for his efforts – he took 48 touches of the ball, but wasn’t able to do much with it, as he failed to register a single key pass or cross all game and lost possession of the ball ten times.
Whilst that’s not really his role in the side, he only made one tackle and one interception as well, so he may be benched by Gerrard for the Scottish Cup game against Falkirk to give him a bit of a breather, which could see Helander recalled in his place instead.
The Swedish international himself had a night to forget in Portugal in the previous fixture against Benfica as he was at fault for two of the goals.
But Helander could be set for a reprieve to face Falkirk, having been left on the bench for the past three games in a row.
His Sweden boss Janne Andersson singled him out for praise before the international break, saying: “He’s a reliable defender with a great sense of where to place himself on the pitch. Filip’s also a very tough player who won’t bow down.”
If Helander can find his form again, he is undoubtedly one of the best defenders in Scotland. The 27-year-old just needs to be given game time so he can rediscover the form that saw him win a nomination for the Swedish Defender of the Year in 2014.
With Gerrard expected to expected to ring several changes against Falkirk, the Swede is fully capable of stepping in and getting the job done against the Bairns.
AND in other news, Ross Wilson must cash in on Glasgow Rangers outcast Jordan Jones in January…