Rangers star Niko Katic was one of the club’s most influential players prior to a crushing cruciate ligament injury heartbreak which saw the fan favourite miss the entirety of a legendary season.

The big Croatian defender was not without his flaws but his determination, power and attitude have always endeared him to Rangers fans and given his young age, there’s still room to grow into a top player.

Sporting Braga v Rangers FC - UEFA Europa League Round of 32: Second Leg

Niko Katic has been spotted in training as the Rangers defender steps up his recovery after injury heartbreak saw him miss last season. (Photo by Jose Manuel Alvarez/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)

The injury certainly hampered Niko – still only 24 – at a very inopportune time as the centre-half was set to play a key role in the Rangers side with one eye also on the European Championships with Croatia.

After coming back beefed up following the lockdown the injury seriously stopped a determined Niko in his tracks but going by the character that the defender has displayed so far at Rangers, his injury problems could be the making of him.

Signed from Slaven Bepulo for a reported £2m back in 2018, Niko was one of the first signings of the Gerrard revolution at Ibrox.

But as we prepare to head into another season in Glasgow, Niko’s increasing presence could yet be like a new signing if he can prove his fitness ahead of the new campaign.

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As the rest of the team prepare for some well-earned time off – and others prepare for the European Championships – Niko was videoed back on the training ground getting himself up to fitness.

 

If the defender can prove his fitness to the club he could be a major asset next season but as things stand Rangers are considerably well-stocked in defence.

Connor Goldson has played every minute for the club this season whilst Filip Helander and Leon Balogun have proven strong partners throughout the campaign.

Jack Simpson was also signed from Bournemouth in January and George Edmundson has returned to the club after a spell at Derby County.

Another player whose permanent presence in the squad could be like a new player entirely has also had surgery and is on course to return in the hunt for 56.

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