Rangers’ new £9m double-act could prove Champions League difference
Photo by Joris Verwijst/BSR Agency/Getty Images

Rangers’ new £9m double-act could prove Champions League difference

As the dust settles on Rangers’ bitterly disappointing defeat to Union Saint Gilloise, it’s clear the Gers need to get their £9m left-hand side in Ben Davies and Ridvan Yilmaz up and running.

There is still all to play for in the tie even if overturning that 2-0 deficit feels a long way off now and Rangers will have to apply themselves much better to keep the Champions League dream alive.

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But it was clear in the clash with Union Saint Gilloise that the left-hand side of the club’s defence is a real weak point and the sooner the Gers have their new signings embedded the better.

Borna Barisic, a player with clear ability but a torturously weak mentality, continues to collapse in the big matches and questions are justifiably being asked of his suitability for Rangers at this level.

Amid links to the likes of Trabzonspor, it wouldn’t surprise us to the see the Croatian international shipped out this window because, at the base of it, Rangers cannot rely on Barisic.

Ridvan Yilmaz, a highly-rated young left-back signed on a £5m deal from Turkish side Besiktas, is Rangers’ solution and whilst he came off the bench in Belgium, it’s time to see him from the start on Saturday against Kilmarnock.

Similarly, right-footed defensive midfielder James Sands started in the left centre-back berth and, just as in the case of Barisic, it was telling the defender was subbed in the second half.

Ben Davies, a £4m signing from Liverpool this summer, may have been at the centre of one of the dodgiest penalty calls in living memory but the naturally left-sided defender is clearly the answer in this position.

Sands didn’t have the greatest game and is a makeshift defender at this level so the sooner Rangers can incorporate Ben Davies the better it’s going to be for everyone.

The following graphic shows how ineffective our left-hand side was in Belgium and also highlights the boring, stagnant nature of our play.

Rangers have substantially invested in this side of the park and for the good of the team it’s clear they need to incorporate the strengthened options here before long.

It could be the difference between navigating past Union Saint Gilloise in the Champions League or not.

Rangers fans remain fuming at not only the result but the performance against USG and the players are going to have to suck up the criticism.

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