The £100,000 potential Rangers misstep as Giovanni van Bronckhorst stands one slip from defensive crisis

On the night Connor Goldson made his landmark 200th appearance for Rangers, the need for his incredible consistency was highlighted.

Just 15 minutes into the champions’ 2-0 win over Hibs Giovanni van Bronckhorst was forced into a central defensive reshuffle.

Leon Balogun limped off with Calvin Bassey again moving into the heart of the rearguard alongside Goldson.

The same move was required when Balogun went off injured – ironically against the same opposition – in the Premier Sports Cup semi final capitulation at Hampden.

That ruled the Nigeria international out for two months with Balogun only recently returning to the team and it remains to be seen how long he’ll be absent for this time around.

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While there has been plenty of chopping and changing in the heart of defense since Steven Gerrard’s arrival Goldson has remained the one consistent and Van Bronckhorst must be grateful for that right now.

He has had a succession of partners from Niko Katic and Joe Worrall to Filip Helander, Leon Balogun and Calvin Bassey.

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And with Goldson’s future at Ibrox looking increasingly uncertain it certainly leaves Ross Wilson with a problem.

John Souttar could be viewed as the long term answer but could he also have been the short term solution?

Rangers failed to meet Hearts’ asking price for the Scotland stopper to make an immediate switch across the M8 in January.

At that time, they maybe felt the 25-year-old wasn’t needed to achieve their aim of the Scottish Premiership title this season

A derby drubbing 24 hours after the transfer window slammed shut perhaps suggested otherwise before Balogun’s latest injury leaves them short.

When Rangers were reportedly only around £100,000 short of giving Hearts what they wanted – albeit there is speculation the Jambos also wanted some sort of sell-on clause – then it is loose change compared to the riches for this season’s title winners with automatic Champions League group stage entry.

It seemed a small price to pay and that could come back to haunt them depending on Balogun’s length of absence and how quickly Helander can get back up to speed.

Bassey has provided a more than able deputy with Borna Barisic out of shape he was preferred at left back and moving him into the central role forces Van Bronckhorst to play the underperforming Croat.

Helander is nearing full fitness and has been a huge miss but hasn’t been included in the Europa League squad with that massive tie with Borussia Dortmund just a week away.

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It’s also unlikely the Swede would be thrown in for Saturday’s tie on Annan Athletic’s plastic pitch which means the home clash with Motherwell would be his first match back.

Katic is back in Croatia on loan and it begs the question whether he should have been recalled in January as striker Cedric Itten was.

James Sands was handed Katic’s shirt number and the versatile American must surely now be considered for a position he played for New York City.

Jack Simpson is another option but seems so far out of the picture while Leon King could also step up but from a Rangers perspective, God forbid anything happens to Goldson in the coming weeks.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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