Rangers loanee Nikola Katic was benched by Hajduk Split boss Valdas Dambrauskas as the Croatian giants dished out a hammering on Friday.

Katic joined Hajduk on deadline day in search of regular playing time after missing the entirety of last season with a serious knee injury.

Katic headed back to his native Croatia to try to get back to his 2019/20 levels. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

It took him a while to break into the team, but after a goal in a friendly in October, he was given a run in the side, starting five consecutive league matches.

It looked like the 25-year-old was thriving until a clash against Rijeka last week.

Hajduk came from behind to win 3-2 but only after Katic had been replaced following several errors.

He lost his marker for Rijeka’s first goal and then conceded the penalty from which the opposition went ahead in the 79th minute.

The manager showed he wasn’t happy by subbing the Rangers loanee off immediately after the spot kick and Katic was benched for Hajduk’s league fixture at home against Istra 1961 on Friday.

The Rangers loanee was benched for Hajduk’s latest fixture. (Photo by MB Media/Getty Images)

With Dambrauskas’ side winning 4-0, it may be difficult for the centre-back to get back into the team for a Croatian Cup quarter-final against NK Lokomotiva on Tuesday night.

Rangers may be light on options at the back right now, but there’s certainly less chance of Katic being recalled in January if he can’t get into the Hajduk starting XI.

Meanwhile, another Rangers loanee was involved in a nine-goal thriller on Saturday afternoon.

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