With Borna Barisic being out, the end of this season was a chance for Ridvan Yilmaz to show the fans he’s worth the money the club paid for him. Today represented a real chance for him to make a claim for the LB spot. Barisic has struggled in some of the Old Firm games this season, particularly against Liel Abada.
Ridvan Yilmaz was brilliant today. Defensively and going forward this was an incredibly positive performance from the Turkish left back. He done something that Barisic was unable to do earlier in the season, keep Abada quiet.
He clearly fancied his chances one on one against the winger and was comfortable being left isolated with him. This is something that would’ve given fans a sense of dread if it was Barisic but Ridvan dealt with him expertly.
He stayed on his feet, matched him for pace and stuck a foot in at the right time. Abada was barely in the game and that was due to how well he was handled.
His defensive numbers from the game were impressive;
- 67% Tackles Won (2/3)
- 67% Ground Duels Won (4/6)
- 2 Interceptions
- 5 Recoveries
His positioning was excellent, tactically he done exactly what was asked of him today. He was aggressive going into tackles and timed them superbly. He pressed at the right times and put in one of the best defensive full back displays in recent Old Firm memory.
He was also impressive going forward. His final ball was a bit off at times but he got into brilliant positions. His overlapping runs presented a constant threat to the Celtic defence. His pace is another thing that sets him apart from Barisic. Between him, Matondo and Sakala the Celtic defence didn’t know where to look to times.
This was a very encouraging display for Ridvan. If he can perform like that consistently he can be Rangers first choice left back for years to come.
What did you think of Ridvan’s performance yesterday? Should he be first choice now?