Rangers boss Steven Gerrard has revealed that the Ibrox club won’t recall fan favourite Nikola Katic from a loan move amid a medium-term injury to centre-back Filip Helander.
Big Fil was stretchered off in the 2-1 win over St Johnstone at the weekend and the club have since revealed the player faces three months on the sidelines.
Rangers can confirm that defender Fil Helander will be missing until December after knee surgery.
We wish him well in his recovery. pic.twitter.com/WhhYiP7hOS
— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) September 15, 2021
However, when pressed on the issue ahead of the clash with Lyon, Ibrox gaffer reiterated his belief in the squad and claimed to recall Katic would be unfair on the player.
Niko, 24, is currently on loan at Hajduk Split with a recall clause in his contract this January and an option for the Croatian club to buy for £3m reportedly also part of the deal [Glasgow Live].
“Even if I had the opportunity to bring Niko back I wouldn’t because it would be very selfish from me,” said Gerrard [Rangers].
“Niko’s at a stage where he needs to play regularly to get back to his level and I think he’s in the right place for that.
“I’m confident we’ve got the right amount of cover assuming we don’t have any more issues.
“Connor Goldson comes back and is available for tomorrow, we’ve also got players who can fill in if needs be.
“At the moment, it’s disappointing not to have Fil but we’ll manage.”
Whilst losing Filip Helander might be a major blow to Rangers, the club has been boosted by the return of Connor Goldson ahead of the clash with Lyon.
The centre-back was missing for the clash with St Johnstone due to self-isolation but is back in the squad for the Europa League opener.
Jack Simpson – who is not in the Europa League squad – will now be asked to step up domestically in the week’s to come with Calvin Bassey at centre-back perhaps the fifth option for the Ibrox side.
There’s no doubt losing Helander is a major blow, but Rangers also hope to have one key Ibrox star back in the squad after citing a Covid-19 reprieve handed to the French side.