For one current Rangers player, it was a night of success, for another potential target, it was a nightmare.
Borna Barisic nabbed a confidence-boosting first Croatia goal. Not only will it give Borna a much-needed boost, but he’ll have done himself no harm in locking down the Croatian left-back slot for good. Rangers’ Croatian investment may yet prove a shrewd one.
For Graeme Shinnie, playing in the same position, it was a night to forget. Badly at fault as Scotland shipped three, Shinnie was shown up in Kazakhstan. It probably proves we’re lucky a move doesn’t look like materialising. Some Rangers fans agree.

Barisic vyes for possession during another impressive performance for Croatia in a 2-1 win over Azerbaijan. (Photo by Stipe Majic/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
Reports earlier in the week
suggested Shinnie was set to snub Steven Gerrard and join Luton Town instead [originally Daily Express]. On the basis of yesterday’s events, we’ve dodged a bullet.
There is absolutely no doubt Shinnie will add some of that robustness, bite and mobility we often lack in midfield. In the Scottish Premiership, the benefits are two-fold. Rangers sign an old Scottish Premiership warhorse, whilst Aberdeen lose one.

Borna Barisic is a better footballer than Graeme Shinnie – and he’ll prove it

But if the debate is on quality, then there’s no doubt Barisic is the winner. He’s taking time to settle and hasn’t quite found his feet yet at Ibrox. Kris Boyd claimed in an explosive column that the Croatian doesn’t even want to be at Rangers.

Shinnie toiled as Scotland fell to an embarrassing defeat in Kazakhstan. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)
But if we can get the player settled and into a rhythm, we could have a major asset. Someone who is playing alongside the current World Footballer of the Year. Someone who’s a first pick for one of the two most recent World Cup finalists. And someone who isn’t Graeme Shinnie.
If there was any suggestion at all that Barisic is to leave with Shinnie coming in, we’d be made considerably weaker by it.
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