On Wednesday, Nikola Katic joined up with the Rangers first team in Portugal.
Steven Gerrard has been putting his players through their paces at the state of the art Algarve camp since the weekend.
🇵🇹 Day One ☑️
— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) June 23, 2019
Still, the positive of his side’s underwhelming showing is that he hasn’t missed too much of pre-season. He’s already match-fit and should be able to slot seamlessly into preparations for the first Europa League qualifying tie on 11 July.
However, Katic had been absent due to youth international duty with Croatia.
Unfortunately, the 6ft 4″ centre-back didn’t have the best time of it at the UEFA U21 European Championships.
His side shipped eight goals in three matches, picking up just one point after a 3-3 draw with England.
They finished bottom of Group C, with Romania and France securing progression. Not only that, but Katic broke his nose in a warm-up fixture.
Katic endeared himself to the fans during his first season in Glasgow, even though he wasn’t always the manager’s first choice.
Therefore, when the club’s social media team released a photo of him back in Gers gear, it created plenty of excitement.
Here’s a selection of reactions to the return of Katic:
Destroyer of attackers pic.twitter.com/7LebDNKYGd
— Thelionbrand (@thelionbrand) June 26, 2019
Big season ahead for the big man, think he could be pivotal in our pursuit of 55 🇭🇷
— Dougie (@CF3Loyal) June 26, 2019
Katic has to be a starter for me. Edmondson obviously there to make it competitive for a CB position but really like Katic.
— CK (@lChris_Kennyl) June 26, 2019
— Croatia's Chosen Few (@Thesupergers) June 26, 2019
Superb from the big man, only finished his tournament less than 48 hours ago and straight back into it, when some would have taken time off 👏🏻👏🏻
— Allan Gray (@algie1981) June 26, 2019
Big Niko the warrior 💙
— John (@bigbluewatp) June 26, 2019