Rangers defender Borna Barisic was sorely missed in midweek and would be a “huge loss” in Sunday’s cup final against Celtic.
That is according to ex-Aberdeen striker Noel Whelan, speaking exclusively to Football Insider after Steven Gerrard issued a pessimistic update following the Light Blues’ 2-2 draw at Pittodrie last night.
Steven Gerrard was unable to call upon the injured Barisic, who has a bruised bone in his foot and was replaced at left-back by ex-Liverpool man Jon Flanagan.
Gerrard told the media afterwards that first choice Barisic is also struggling to be fit for the Scottish League Cup final against Neil Lennon’s side at Hampden Park.
“Barisic is a doubt for Sunday. He was limping about yesterday so we’ll have to see how he is,” Gerrard is quoted by FourFourTwo as saying after the game last night. “He’s had three or four kicks in a similar area on his foot and he’s got some bone bruising there.”
Whelan told Football Insider. “Barisic has come on leaps and bounds this season, and looks a different player to the one from last season.
“He’s a very solid defender and is a big threat going forward on the overlap. You saw against Feyenoord in the Europa League what he can offer in terms of crossing, and a natural left footer there makes such a big difference.
“Jon Flanagan is a decent defender but he’s a right footer playing at left-back and has to keep checking inside. Barisic was a huge loss against Aberdeen and he will be a huge, huge loss if he doesn’t play against Celtic.”
His potential absence would likely mean another start for Flanagan, 26, who made just his eighth appearance of the season last night after a spell on the sidelines in which he underwent groin surgery.
Barisic has been a mainstay of the Rangers side this season, making 21 appearances across all competitions.
In other Rangers news, it can be REVEALED that the club have been handed a huge January transfer boost by Premier League club.