Rangers defender Borna Barisic has shown glimpses of his undoubted ability since arriving at Ibrox – and the Croat could be crucial in the title race if he can stay fit.

Since signing from NK Osijek over the summer, Barisic has impressed when he has played but injuries have disrupted his game-time.

LIVINGSTON, SCOTLAND - SEPTEMBER 30: Rangers manager Steven Gerrard gives instruction to Borna Barisic during the Ladbrokes Premiership match between Livingston and Rangers at Livingston on September 30, 2018 in Livingston, Scotland.

(Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

The left-back has managed 15 appearances so far this season but has missed just as many games through injury.

Keeping him fit in the second half of the season will make Rangers a much more balanced side and offer a different attacking option.

Jon Flanagan and Andy Halliday have filled in for Barisic but neither provides the same threat down the left as the Croatian international.

FARO, PORTUGAL - SEPTEMBER 06: Bernardo Silva of Portugal competes for the ball with Borna Barisic of Croatia during the International Friendly match between Portugal and Croatia at Algarve Stadium on September 6, 2018 in Faro, Portugal.

 (Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)

Barisic’s runs down the left and pinpoint crossing puts defences under huge amounts of trouble and he has been sorely missed.

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The inconsistent run of games has stopped Barisic from getting any real form and he’s not yet shown what he’s really capable of.

There’s no doubt over Barisic’s ability but there are some question marks over his ability to stay fit.

Borna Barisic of Rangers FC during the UEFA Europa League Group G match between Villarreal CF and Rangers FC at La Ceramica Stadium on September 20, 2018 in Vila-real, Spain.

(Photo by Maria Jose Segovia/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Having three weeks off over winter will have reduced the pressure on him to get fit quickly but with the Gers back in action on Friday, then Barisic will be hoping to return to the side soon.

If he can return quickly, keeping him fit until the end of the season could go a long way in deciding the league trophy’s destination.