After looking at Nikola Katic, the microscope now turns to fellow Croatian, Borna Barisic.
The Gers signed the 26-year-old in August for a reported £2 million [The Scotsman] from Europa League qualifying opponents NK Osijek.
Barisic looked full of confidence. Most noticeably, he was keen to get forward and frequently crossed with quality.
However, injury problems plagued his season.
He missed the entire months of October and November with a variety of problems. Then, he picked up a knock ahead of the December Old Firm clash and Ibrox and only returned to action several matches into 2019.
Things were looking up when he notched his first international goal in March. Yet, in the next game, he suffered a hamstring injury, ruling him out of action for several weeks. Therefore, another Old Firm opportunity passed by.
It’s not just injury he’s struggled with, though. Since those first throes of the season, his form has also been an issue.
Rather than the raiding left-back of August, he’s often looked tentative going forward and unsure defensively.
So much so, he lost his place to Jon Flanagan.
It must be said that Flanagan improved greatly towards the back end of the campaign. Nonetheless, it must have been tough to take knowing the Gerrard would rather have a right-footed player at left-back.
Reinstated for the final game of the season at Rugby Park, Barisic was at fault for both Killie goals. Undoubtedly, a sour note to end on.
However, given the glimpses of quality he’s shown, he shouldn’t be written off just yet.
You don’t get into the starting XI of the world’s fifth-ranked international team without being a fine player and after all, he’s just one year into a four-year deal.
The key thing here is attitude. If he can go away this summer, pick himself up and prepare for the challenges ahead, he can still make a success of his time at Ibrox.
Another season like this one, though, and it will surely be his last.
Half-Term Grade: B
End of Season Grade: C
Have something to tell us about this article?