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Who Should Partner Helander In Rangers’ Defence? We Look At The Three Contenders

With Rangers having signed Filip Helander for a sizeable fee this summer, it’s clear that the Swedish international will be manager Steven Gerrard’s first-choice centre-back this season.

The question now, though, is who will partner the club’s most expensive summer recruit? Here are the three contenders:

Connor Goldson

The 26-year-old had a good first season at Ibrox following his transfer from Brighton, and he would certainly be the player who would compliment Helander’s game most.

In general, he puts in more tackles and interceptions per game than the Swede, and on the ball, he is second only to Helander when it comes to the accuracy of his long passes (53.45% according to Wyscout).

Nikola Katic

Katic

The Croatian is the most similar in style to Helander in terms of his height and build, but it must be said that the 21-year-old is better aerially than the new signing.

Katic averages almost double the number of aerial duels per match (8.65) compared to Helander (4.61) and wins a greater percentage of headers.

However, the Swedish international is better with the ball at his feet with greater passing accuracy. The Croatian is ahead on tackles and interceptions but direct comparisons are difficult considering one was playing in the Scottish Premiership while the other was playing in Serie A.

Still, Katic will give Helander a real battle for his place in the side if the Swede’s numbers don’t improve following his switch to Rangers.

George Edmundson

The Englishman is likely to be the one given the fewest chances by Gerrard but that may change if the 21-year-old impresses in the games he starts in.

Edmundson attempted the fewest number of tackles of the four defenders last season, but his interceptions per game only lag slightly behind Goldson and Katic

He has the lowest passing accuracy of the four, but that is likely due to Oldham playing a long ball style in the EFL. He is more accurate than Katic with his distribution over a long-range.

In terms of his suitability to partner Helander, you would have to say he would fit better than Katic, but lags behind Goldson in terms of the underlying numbers.

No matter who Gerrard picks to partner the Swede, though, it seems the Gers boss has put together a group of capable defenders, who should be able to provide the required solidity at the back this season.

 

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