Whilst Rangers’ defence has been one of the key factors behind their impressive title triumph this season, it is worth noting that Steven Gerrard has been without one of his best centre-backs in Nikola Katic due to injury for the whole campaign, but it appears that the Croatian is nearing a return at Ibrox.
Speaking in a press conference earlier this week, assistant manager Gary McAllister delivered a promising update on the 24-year-old defender, confirming that he is now ‘back on the grass’ after his long-term injury problems.
The centre-back, who was signed from Croatian side Slaven Belupo Koprivnica in the summer of 2018, quickly established himself as a regular and a fan favourite at Ibrox and has now made 59 appearances for the Light Blues, in which he has contributed six goals and three assists.
It was a massive blow for Gerrard ahead of this campaign when Katic ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament in training last summer and it would be great to see him make even one appearance before the end of the campaign.
Gerrard is undoubtedly a massive fan of the centre-back, as in 2019 he explained why the Croatian was keeping Filip Helander out of the team, saying: “Nikola is a player we love and admire and want to help grow and develop and that is happening.”
The centre-back also earned a lot of praise from Croatia boss Zlatko Dalic after he suffered his injury last year and assured the defender that he will reclaim his place in the national side, saying: “Niko is young and he has lots of time on his side to come back from this. He is a player I rate highly. He is playing at a very high level.”
Therefore, it is a massive boost for Rangers and Gerrard that the £1.44m-rated Croatian has made a big step towards his recovery, and even if he doesn’t make his return this season, he will undoubtedly have a big part to play next season when the Light Blues look to retain their Premiership title.