Michael Beale cooled doubts over the future of Ridvan Yilmaz as the Turkish international returned to the Rangers starting line-up v St Johnstone.

The 22-year-old left-back has found chances at a premium under the Rangers manager so far this season with injury defining what’s been a stop-start year in Glasgow.

News then broke during the international break that Ridvan Yilmaz was not in Rangers’ Europa League squad and it had plenty questioning his role in the team.

This was after Michael Beale opted to use right-back Dujon Sterling at left-back over Ridvan in the 1-0 defeat to Celtic, a decision which in retrospect looks a counterproductive one.

Combine that with the form – if not conveniently injury-prone nature – of Rangers stalwart Borna Barisic and suddenly the potential £5m spent to bring Ridvan to Ibrox looked money not-so-well-spent.

Rangers v SV Hamburg - Pre-Season Friendly
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Ridvan Yilmaz makes first Rangers start of the season

Explaining before the match that the Rangers squad’s current lop-sidedness, combined with Ridvan Yilmaz’s lack of availability, were the reasons behind his absence, Michael Beale appeared to throw his support behind the young Turk.

Not that the Rangers manager suggested that Ridvan Yilmaz, or fellow high-profile absentee Kieran Dowell, were happy about Michael Beale’s decision to exclude them from the team.

However, coming back in for the must-win victory over St Johnstone, it was something of vote of confidence from Michael Beale in what was a big game for the Rangers manager.

After a rocky start to the domestic season, Rangers needed to win in Perth and Ridvan Yilmaz was trusted to help get the job done at McDiarmid Park.

TSG Hoffenheim v Rangers - Pre-Season Friendly
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The player’s first start of the season and only his second appearance, Michael Beale did appear to rationalise Yilmaz’s Europa League absence ahead of the game.

But for someone signed for so much money, a club in Rangers’ position need a greater return and more immediate impact and so far they haven’t got it.

The president of the player’s former club Besiktas has claimed that Rangers signed Ridvan Yilmaz with the intention of bedding him in over time.

That’s something that Michael Beale fundamentally does not have at the moment and the appearance of the player against St Johnstone has cooled doubts surrounding the manger’s thoughts on the player.

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