Former Rangers defender Nikola Katic was not a suitable player for the way the club wanted to play in the long term.
That is according to journalist Jonny McFarlane who was speaking on the Rangers Review podcast, ahead of the Gers’ clash with Napoli at Ibrox.
In a recent interview with The Athletic, Katic, who now plays for FC Zürich in Switzerland, has claimed that the coaches at the club were tough to communicate with during pre-season.
In the same interview, the one-time Croatia international also said that manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst told him that he preferred to have a different type of defender to the 25-year-old, and also claimed that he felt he could’ve helped the side, who are conceding a number of goals from set-pieces at the moment.
And whilst McFarlane believes it’s tough to disagree with what Katic has said, he still believes that he was not the long-term solution for Rangers.
Speaking on The Rangers Review, he said: “It’s very, very hard to argue with what Katic is saying when Rangers are playing so poorly, because obviously, someone who can head the ball, who can defend set pieces, is absolutely what Rangers have needed based on the last two performances.
“But big picture, zooming out and looking at the whole season, I think that’s why Niko Katic doesn’t have a Rangers contract at the moment and he’s playing at FC Zurich.
“I like the guy, I thought he was wholehearted, I thought he was a good defender, but fundamentally, I don’t think the long term was suited to the kind of way he played.”
TIF Thoughts on McFarlane’s comments…
It is certainly bold of Katic to claim he could have been of use to Rangers having departed for the Swiss top flight over the summer and suggests he is still disappointed about the nature of his Ibrox exit.
Whilst Katic may not have been the long-term solution to van Bronckhorst’s problems, we believe that the 6ft 4in centre-back could have helped prevent some of Rangers’ conceded goals in recent weeks, especially in the club’s 4-0 defeats to both Celtic and Ajax.
The Bosnia and Herzegovina-born centre-back made 59 appearances during his time at Rangers, scoring six goals and providing three assists according to Transfermarkt, whilst helping the club to a first Scottish Premiership title in ten years during the 2020/21 season.
Therefore, we believe that even if he had not been a first-choice option, Katic could have provided solid cover and could have been called upon at the moment, whilst Rangers are defensively fragile.