Rangers manager Steven Gerrard was full of praise for Nikola Katic, saying that even though the centre-back was “bought for the future”, he’s “further ahead” in his development and has “started well” in 2018/19. Katic joined Rangers from Slaven Belupo over the summer and has already made 18 appearances in all competitions this season.
The 22-year-old was a regular at the heart of the defence at the start of the campaign but has been rested off late – being named an unused substitute in four of Rangers last five Premiership outings. Gerrard has admitted surprise in how well Katic has done early on, but he’s still going to be mindful of over-exertion.
As per the Daily Record, Gerrard said: “Nikola has been bought for the future but really started well and has taken to life pretty quickly. He is probably further ahead than we thought but he will be managed slightly differently.”
Katic played in Rangers’ first six Premiership games of the new season but was rested after a 5-1 win over St Johnstone on September 23. Gerrard handed the Croatian u21 international just one appearance in October and could look to the more experienced Gareth McAuley to operate at centre-back.
Rangers are currently fifth in the Premiership with 21 points from 11 games, coming off the back of three wins and a draw from their last four outings.
Stats from Transfermarkt.