By Noel Whelan

4th Jan, 2020 | 4:00pm

'What a player he is' - Whelan changes his mind about Rangers man: 'He was awful'

Borna Barisic has been transformed into a stellar player for Rangers this season after an “awful” debut campaign.

That is according to ex-Aberdeen and Leeds United striker Noel Whelan, speaking exclusively to Football Insider about the left-back following his impressive campaign at Ibrox.

Barisic appeared set for the exit door after initially failing to live up to the £2.2million fee the Glasgow giants paid to NK Osijek in the summer of 2018.

The Croatia international has been a mainstay of Steven Gerrard’s side this season after not only establishing himself as the first choice left-back but also emerging as one of the team’s most influential players.

“What a player he is,” Whelan told Football Insider. “I thought he was Rangers’ best player against Celtic [last week] and his transformation from last season, when he was pretty awful, really stands out.

“He’s a really solid defender, strong in the tackle, good in the air and has a solid understanding with the rest of the back four.

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“Going forward, he’s a big threat on the overlap and his deliveries on the left are difficult to defend. Celtic couldn’t handle his corners, they were absolutely brilliant.

“Credit to him and credit to Stevie Gerrard for sticking by him and getting the best out of him.”

Barisic has made 27 appearances in all competitions for Rangers this season, scoring twice and supplying a monumental 13 assists.

That is an even higher figure than James Tavernier, who has 12 assists in this campaign although the right-back has also weighed in with three goals.

In other Rangers news, it can be REVEALED that Dave King to subsidise January exit of Ibrox big name who’s left Gerrard seething.