In an interview with RangersTV, Steven Gerrard has predicted that all of his senior Rangers centre-backs will be used this season, in a big boost to George Edmundson.
The 23-year-old defender joined the Gers from Oldham Athletic last summer and made 15 appearances in all competitions across the 2019/20 campaign.
He impressed in the Europa League, helping to secure a clean sheet away to Braga and scoring in the Last 16 against Bayer Leverkusen.
However, despite proving a hit with the supporters, he’s been very much on the peripheries so far this season.
Edmundson has only made the matchday squad for three of the Gers’ first six Premiership fixtures and is yet to taste a minute of action.
Even with Nikola Katic out injured, he is fourth choice centre-back behind Connor Goldson, Filip Helander and Leon Balogun, with the team’s outstanding defensive record to date ensuring there’s no imminent need for rotation.
When praising Balogun in an interview, though, the Gers boss hinted that Edmundson will get his opportunity at some point.
“I think Leon has come in and really took the challenge to Connor, Filip and George and said ‘look, I am here to play, I’m not here to make the numbers up’, which is great,” Gerrard told RangersTV. “So the competition for places is really fierce at centre-back.”
“I think they will all play over the course of the season because I have full trust in them all.”
Gerrard’s decision to select Balogun ahead of Edmundson for the opening day Premiership clash against Aberdeen, despite the former only arriving at the club a few days previously, didn’t exactly suggest he has ‘full trust’ in the young Englishman.
Yet, he should be encouraged by his manager’s words here, after a tough August watching on from the sidelines.
Edmundson is still a little raw but he’s a physically imposing player who has given 100% every time he’s worn the Rangers shirt to date.
As long as the club’s clean sheet record remains intact, a start looks unlikely, but it’s clear that he’s in the manager’s thoughts going forward.