Rangers centre-back Nikola Katic was recently spotted hard at work in training as he continues his recovery from injury and the Croatian could have a huge role to play at Ibrox next season, as Steven Gerrard’s side look to secure title number 56.
The centre-back was unfortunately ruled out for the entirety of the 2020/21 season after picking up a cruciate ligament injury in July 2020 but the Gers were able to perform superbly in his absence, with their impressive defensive record one of the key factors in their title win this season.
Gerrard has a number of excellent centre-back options in his Rangers squad ahead of next season, with the likes of Connor Goldson, Filip Helander and Leon Balogun all playing a huge part in their success this season, whilst youngsters Jack Simpson and George Edmundson have also shown that they can fill in when needed.
Therefore Katic faces a real battle if he is going to re-establish himself as a starting centre-back at Ibrox next season but if he can rediscover the sort of form that made him a fan and manager favourite before his injury, he will surely prove to be vital next season, when Rangers will be confident of retaining the Premiership title given the distance between themselves and their Old Firm rivals Celtic this year.
After his goal against Celtic back in 2019, in a game where Katic also gave away a penalty, Gerrard was full of praise for him after the game, saying:
“The kid is a winner and a warrior. We know what he gives. Anyone his age, after giving the penalty away, might have gone into their shell. It might have affected their performance.
“But if you knock Niko Katic down, he’s gonna get back up and come again. That’s the man, that’s the player.”
Whilst it will be some time before the 24-year-old is fit enough to feature in a competitive match for Rangers, the fact that he is working hard in training will surely delight Gerrard, as his defender will definitely have a part to play next season.