By Nick Ware

31st Jan, 2021 | 7:30pm

'Unbelievable' - Donadoni blown away by Rangers player stat

After winning three European Cups with AC Milan Roberto Donadoni knows a thing or two about defending and he has lavished praise on Rangers stopper Filip Helander.

Helander made his first appearance of 2021 when he started and scored in the 5-0 thrashing of Ross County on January 23 and he made it successive starts as he lined up against Hibernian four days later.

These games added to the remarkable statistic of Rangers never losing a Scottish Premiership game with Helander in the side, a run that has now stretched to 23 games.

Speaking exclusively to MailSport, as quoted on the Daily Record website, Donadoni hailed a player he managed at Bologna, saying: “It’s unbelievable to think Filip hasn’t lost a league game at Rangers. That’s very good for him and the team and I hope that run continues and he wins the league this season.”

He added: “He is a very tough player and keeps things very simple which is often all you want from a defender and when he moved to Scotland I said to Luca Gotti who was my assistant at Bologna that his style would be perfect for Rangers.”

Helander will be hoping to make it a hat-trick of starts when Rangers play host to St Johnstone on Wednesday.

Time to shine

Helander has been beset by injury issues during his spell at Ibrox with a foot injury keeping him out for 24 games last season but he will now be eyeing a consistent run in the first team.

There is tough competition for places in the centre of a miserly Gers defence with Connor Goldson and Leon Balogun both proving to be cornerstones of a sensational defensive record so far as the Light Blues have only conceded seven times in 26 Premiership outings so far.

The Sweden international ranks sixth in the league for defensive duel success with 76.47% while he also features 11th for aerial duels (69.09%), per Wyscout data.

With a European Championships on the horizon for Sweden this summer Helander will be desperate to keep his place in the starting XI and this can only be good news for Steven Gerrard and Gers fans.

If he keeps up his remarkable record for Rangers it won’t be long until the title is secured with Gerrard’s outfit currently 23 points clear at the top.

In other Rangers news, see our exclusive interview with Alex McLeish on what Steven Gerrard is doing right with this Gers ace.