After five games of the new Scottish Premiership season, Rangers sit at the top of the table, with their 2-0 win against Kilmarnock on Saturday afternoon keeping their unbeaten start in tact.
Steven Gerrard’s side have enjoyed a fantastic opening to the campaign, scoring nine times and conceding absolutely none. And whilst the score-line may not have reflected it at the weekend, it was a pretty comfortable victory for the Gers.
They enjoyed 75% possession of the ball, had 26 shots to Kilmarnock’s measly two, and almost made three times as many passes as the away side (642 to 216).
One man who stood out for the Ibrox side, was Borna Barisic. The Croatian has proven himself to be an outstanding signing for them, really showcasing his skills as the ultimate modern day full-back.
Last season saw him register a remarkable 14 assists across all competitions, and his start to the new campaign has been similarly impressive. In just five league games, he has scored once and set up three others, with one of them coming in the clash against Kilmarnock.
But whilst he set up Kemar Roofe for Rangers’ opener, Barisic enjoyed a superb all-round game, finishing with the highest overall match rating of any player on the pitch as per Sofascore.
He made a team-high three interceptions, had 95 touches of the ball, provided an incredible seven key passes (including creating two official big chances), and completed 92% of his passes as well.
Barisic delivered yet another reminder of just how important and influential he can be for Rangers, and it’s exactly why Gerrard may be heading for disaster if recent reports are true.
There have been suggestions earlier this month that newly-promoted Premier League side Leeds are eyeing up a move for the left-back this summer, and that Rangers would demand in excess of £8m to let him go.
Whilst the saying is that every player has a price, Gerrard simply cannot afford to let Barisic go. The Croatian has proven himself to be a vital attacking weapon for the Gers, and trying to replace that level of quality in the transfer market is a major gamble.
Barisic’s performance against Kilmarnock once again proved Rangers must dig their heels in over any potential move away for one of their most consistent players.