When Rangers lost vice-captain Connor Goldson to injury in this season’s Champions League clash with Liverpool, nothing could have summed up the defensive chasm more than the subsequent on-pitch collapse.

Rangers had taken the lead and held out against the lethal Liverpool forward-line but, the moment the influential Ibrox stopper was taken off, all hell was about to break loose.

Photo by ANDY BUCHANAN/AFP via Getty Images

With the score at 1-1 when Connor Goldson left the park, the fact it wound up 7-1 is a testament both to Rangers’ reliance on the Englishman but also the club’s failings in the transfer market.

This hammering – the worst in Ibrox history – was a microcosm of the club’s wider collapse without the centre-back, and it is telling that the three-game Premiership run which cost Giovanni van Bronckhorst his job came without Connor in the team.

Rangers lose Connor Goldson to injury again

Rangers’ season derailed the moment they lost Goldson to that injury and the club found it nigh on impossible to recover, as a rampant Celtic barely blinked and Rangers’ confidence was rocked.

It genuinely couldn’t have come at a worse time, with all four first choice centre-backs – the others being Ben Davies, John Souttar and Filip Helander – also toiling for fitness this season.

Now, Michael Beale has confirmed that the club has lost Goldson to injury yet again, with the player set to spend up to 10 weeks on the sidelines.

Confirming that Goldson is set to return to training mid-way through pre-season, it will have Rangers fans chewing their fingernails with the Champions League qualifiers looming large and the humbling season amongst Europe’s elite fresh in their memories.

“He [Connor Golsdon] will be out for about 10 weeks,” Michael Beale told the press after win at Easter Road.

“He had a funny land on his foot with a couple of minutes to go last week and wanted to play on. After we’ve had it scanned and seen a specialist.

“He will probably be six weeks to stay off it and then a four/five-week rehab back into next season. All going well, he’ll be available for the first game of next season, albeit he might have a slightly modified pre-season compared to others.

“This season seems to be the worst ever with injuries for the club, certainly in my time associated. Let’s hope that’s out the way and next season we get a clean bill of health.”

Champions League nerves jangle at Ibrox

After building up the nation’s coefficient to automatic qualification levels, it is the most Rangers thing that the club has failed to build on that success, surrendering a Champions League group stage place to Celtic for the second season on the spin.

Not only must Rangers qualify for the tournament to match the level our rivals are being tested at, but the financial gap will only widen without the automatic £13.5m clubs get for a group stage place.

Rangers have it all to do, and losing Goldson to injury ahead of tough Champions League qualifiers quite rightly has fans nervous.

But when asked about Connor being touch-and-go for these games, Beale pointed to summer recruitment and, whether the big man makes it or not, it is clearly imperative we have bodies in who can provide reliable back-up.

“We will look to strengthen every area in the summer with new faces to contribute and you saw today with the two boys [Souttar and King], I was delighted,” said Beale.

“The big thing for me is that the mentality has been good with key players stepping up. Todd is standing up for the team and there’s real clarity in how we are playing.

“No doubt come the summer we will be in a stronger position squad-wise with more clarity after a good pre-season.”

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