Gordon Smith challenges Borna Barisic to stand up as Rangers sign Ridvan Yilmaz
The seventh signing of the summer for Rangers was Turkish international left-back Ridvan Yilmaz and that has put Borna Barisic under pressure.
The 21-year-old arrives in Glasgow for £5.5million from Besiktas and finally offers Giovanni van Bronckhorst competition in that position after the Croatian was relatively unchallenged last season once Calvin Bassey had moved into centre-half.
Bassey has now left for a club-record fee to Ajax but former Bear Gordon Smith wants to see Barisic take on the challenge of Yilmaz’s arrival and make that left-back spot his own.
“Rangers have brought in Ridvan Yilmaz and someone like Borna Barisic should be thinking he has to show he is the better player,” Smith said to the Daily Record. “He has to prove to the manager he is first choice.
“He picked the new signing and not you. I’ve seen players who down tools and don’t take it the right way. It’s crucial in who makes it and who doesn’t and a lot of it is through the mindset.
“A lot of people say the main thing is about ability and fitness but the mindset and attitude of players are major factors.”
Barisic could already be on the edge of a cliff waiting to be pushed off and sold by Rangers but this can only be his final opportunity to prove everyone wrong.
Despite being a Croatian international and playing the majority of games last season, Giovanni van Bronckhorst does not seem convinced that he is the man to play left-back for his Gers side.
The two Old Firm derbies in the Premiership he played were a fine example as to why the effort has been made to go out and sign a new left-back this summer.
Barisic made the same mistake both at Ibrox and Parkhead that cost the Light Blues dearly as lackadaisical defending at the back post saw the Celtic winger ghost in from behind him to convert an easy chance unchallenged.
One mistake is forgivable but to do the same thing twice is not and van Bronckhorst would not be condemned for lacking trust in the 29-year-old after that.