Rangers manager Graeme Murty thinks Niko Kranjcar could be the best player he has seen “up close” as a coach as he raved about the veteran following his Ibrox deal being terminated.
The 33-year-old left the Gers last week after an injury-hit season-and-a-half at Ibrox saw him struggle to hold down a regular first-team place at Ibrox.
The veteran Croatian joined the Gers from New York Cosmos after the Gers were promoted to the Scottish Premiership but suffered a major knee injury just a few months into his time in Scotland.
Murty admits it has been “really good” to work with Kranjcar but thought it was “respectful” to let him find a new challenge elsewhere.
“Niko has been a top professional and has worked extremely hard. He obviously hasn’t had the best of time with injuries, but we have made the decision, mutually, to go our separate ways and we wish Niko all the best,” Murty said, as quoted by the club’s official website.
“Personally, for me, he has been really good to work with and is a good guy to have around. Technically, he is possibly the best player I have seen up close as a coach, but we just thought it was appropriate, and respectful to him, to allow him to seek out that next challenge.”
Kranjcar only managed 26 appearances for the Light Blues after his move across the Atlantic but struggled to get himself fuly fit after his injury.
The 81-times capped Croatian made his last appearance for the Gers in the Scottish Cup win over Fraserburgh in January.
Football Insider verdict:
Kranjcar is certainly the most technically-gifted player to have been at Ibrox in recent years and there were still odd glimpses of the star who lit up the Premier League with Spurs and Portsmouth but more often than not, Kranjcar’s body was a step or two behind where his mind wanted it to be. Few will have anything bad to say about Kranjcar after turning down an easy life in New York to come over and fight for a place at Ibrox. Judging by the reactions of a few of his now-former Rangers team-mates it would appear he’s made an impact on some of the players too.
In other Rangers news, Celtic fans were seething over Rangers’ choice of kit for a charity game