Author: Ibrox News

Nottingham Forest in hunt to sign Rangers left-back Borna Barisic as mega-money transfer blitz continues

Nottingham Forest are now in the hunt to sign Rangers’ Borna Barisic as they aim to sign a new left-back, according to the Mail On Sunday.

The newspaper reported via their print edition on 14 August (page 141) that Forest have already spent £83.4million on new players since winning promotion to the Premier League and could smash through the £100million barrier if they land their mooted targets.

Barisic, 29, is now on Forest’s radar with Steve Cooper keen on a new left-back. Chelsea’s Emerson Palmieri is also said to be a target at the City Ground.


Too late?

Although we cannot say we’re the biggest fans of Barisic, it might be too late in the summer transfer window now to start selling off key players.

Barisic hasn’t had the best of starts to the new season and he even almost cost the Gers a goal on Saturday (13 August) in their 4-0 win over St Johnstone at Ibrox.

The Croatian international is constantly found out sleeping when he’s forced to do his defensive duties while his ability going forward and getting crosses into the box is inconsistent, to say the least.

Last season, he was made to look better by Calvin Bassey once the now-Ajax ace moved into the left-sided centre-back role but with much change at Ibrox this summer, Barisic appears to be back to his usual poor self.


Ridvan Yilmaz has joined the Gers to offer competition at left-back and we’d much rather see him play.

But despite Barisic’s flaws, he’s a good option and has been, overall, a good servant for the Light Blues in his time at Ibrox.

If he’s sold now with just over two weeks left of the transfer window, Rangers would have to sign a replacement and we’d rather the club spent their time instead on keeping players at Ibrox rather than selling them.

If Forest come in with a ridiculously big offer then we might have to change that view.

Michael Stewart praises Antonio Colak for controversial Rangers sequence v St Johnstone

Michael Stewart gave credit to Rangers striker Antontio Colak for the way he took his goal despite saying it was offside in the win against St Johnstone.

The summer signing scored his third in three games to put the Gers two up in their 4-0 Scottish Premiership win on Saturday (13 August), but replays showed that he was offside when the last touch by Rabbi Matondo was made in the build up.

The Welsh winger showed fantastic industry to close down Drey Wright inside the visitors’ box, putting in a sliding tackle which sent the ball through to the Croatian international who came back from beyond the last man, but without VAR yet in Scotland it wasn’t picked up and he slammed it low into the net.


Stewart accepted that it was a difficult decision for the assistant to see with the striker moving back rather than forward, and applauded the 28-year-old’s play.

Speaking on BBC Sportscene [14min 30sec] about whether it should have been ruled out he said: “Technically yes, but these things are very difficult for linesmen and such like to call when they’re stepping back here. But you notice when the ball’s played he is the other side [of the last defender].

“But in a flash he’s back onside, and to give him credit it’s a good first touch, spin, and it’s under the keeper before he can really react.”

Magnanimous

It was a surprisingly fair assessment of a decision that went in Rangers’ favour, but it was probably the correct one.

No side will be pleased to see a goal go against them that should have been ruled out, but until the video assistant is brought into the league this sort of thing will continue to happen.

Matondo deserves more praise than Colak really for the goal, which he created out of nothing by challenging Wright.


Once the second had gone in the game was essentially won, with further strikes from Scott Arfield after another nice assist from Matondo, and Tom Lawrence’s first for the club, made it comfortable.

But while it was 1-0, with the gap between the sides only Malik Tillman’s second soaring header in as many Ibrox outings, there is always the possibility that the home side could be caught on the break and end up with frustrating dropped points.

Commitment from one new signing and a sharp finish from another, along with two more goals and an assist from the window’s arrivals, will have made Giovanni van Bronckhorst very satisfied ahead of the first leg against PSV in the crucial European qualifying tie.

View: New signing stars in 9/10, defender in annoying 5 – Rangers player ratings v St Johnstone

Rangers made easy work of St. Johnstone as they raced to a 4-0 victory in the SPFL on Saturday afternoon to put pressure on Celtic.

Malik Tillman, Antonio Colak, Scott Arfield and Tom Lawrence were among the goal scorers for the hosts.

Gers seldom looked threatened and cruised to a comfortable win and picked up three points en route to winning title number 56.

Our player ratings from the game:

Jon McLaughlin – 6

A routine game from the Rangers keeper. Made one save all night and was rather untested throughout the contest.

James Tavernier – 7.5

Provided an assist and was a constant threat down the right for the hosts. Had a few nervy moments, but always made up for them with impressive spells throughout the game.

Connor Goldson – 7

Definitely the better of the two centre-backs but was possibly down to his experience. Made the right calls at the right moments and was like a second leader on the pitch.

Ben Davies – 5

The summer signing will have better games but he wasn’t quite up to speed for this one. While his distribution was exemplary in terms of numbers, he did hold on to the ball a tad longer than he should’ve. It did get annoying to watch him at times, but he will have better outings.

Borna Barisic – 7.5

Was a complete package all game – contributing in the defensive as well as the offensive side of things. He was there to regain possession, got stuck into tackles and also played crosses into the box for Colak and co.

John Lundstram – 8

A comforting presence from the former Sheffield United star. He anchored the midfield perfectly with most of his long balls finding their desired targets. He’s had a bit of a topsy-turvy season but it can be argued that this was his performance of 2022/23.

Ryan Jack – 6

Was slightly off the pace and lost a few 50-50s in the middle of the park. He would’ve been punished against quality sides and needs to improve.

Malik Tillman – 9

Undoubtedly the man of the match. Has fit into this Gers side seamlessly. Wreaked havoc in the opposition defence with his inside left position. He was really a handful and grabbed his goal as well.

Scott Wright – 6

His passing today was awry and he certainly lacked that composure in the final third. He was decent at taking on players, but the end product is what’s missing in his game. There’s a good chance he does not start the PSV game.

Antonio Colak – 8

The new signing looks to have hit the ground running as he scored yet another goal for Gers. It seems like he’s keeping Alfredo Morelos out of the side.

Rabbi Matondo – 8.5

Another summer acquisition who seems the part. His blistering pace made him a menace to deal with and his ability to take on players immediately saw the Johnstone defenders vacating certain areas of the pitch. Matondo was given plenty of time on the ball and he took full advantage of it and provided two assists.

Subs

Leon King – 4

Tom Lawrence – 6

Scott Arfield – 6.5

Glen Kamara – 5

Alfredo Morelos – 5

This article was originally posted here