Borna Barisic has won Steven Gerrard over with his attitude and performances after Rangers made a summer transfer U-turn, Football Insider can reveal.
The Scottish giants’ manager had been ready to sell the left-back at the end of a disappointing debut campaign in which he had proved poor value for his the £2.2million fee paid to NK Osijek in 2018.
Ibrox sources have told Football Insider that Barisic, 26, impressed Gerrard and his coaching staff with his efforts in training and early season as they scrapped plans to let him go.
That U-turn has been vindicated with a series of impressive performances that have fully established Barisic as the first choice left-back at the club.
The Croatia international has started the last six SPL matches as well as all three of the Europa League fixtures.
He is offering as much attacking panache on the left as James Tavernier on the right flank, with his 16 appearances in all competitions yielding an extremely impressive seven assists and two goals.
Significantly, Barisic has set up goals in all three of the Europa League group stage matches against high calibre opposition, Feyenoord, Young Boys and Porto.
The Croatia has taken full advantage of the injury sustained by Jon Flanagan in September while also brushing off the challenge of the versatile Andy Halliday.
Barisic’s future was up in the air following what he admitted was a “misunderstanding” with Gerrard after he suffered an injury while on international duty in March.
He only played once in the club’s last eight fixtures last season – that being the last game of the campaign at Kilmarnock – after being frozen out by the manager.