Ridvan Yilmaz: The Return.

With today being his first start in five months it probably wasn’t overly fair for fans to expect him to be playing at full capacity today. At times he looked like a player who hadn’t played significant minutes in a long period but some positive signs were there. As a left back he offers a completely different play style to Borna Barisic in that he attempts significantly less crosses and is much more comfortable driving forward with the ball and attempting passes into the final third. Below is a comparison between the two full backs stats Per90 minutes;

The stats here show the qualities which both possessive, Barisic is significantly better when it comes to crossing the ball and also attempts more passes where you can see Ridvan likes to carry the ball and attempts riskier passes going forward. Both definitely have their place in the side, with many considering Ridvan the future, but the style of play is something Michael Beale needs to consider when picking who will be first choice going forward.

Back to today, by eye, it was an average performance from Ridvan, although his numbers weren’t too bad;

  • 71 Minutes Played
  • 62 Touches
  • 76% Accurate Passes (25/33)
  • 4 Passes into the Final Third
  • 50% Successful Dribbles (1/2)
  • 0% Accurate Crosses (0/4)
  • 50% Tackles Won (1/2)
  • 2 Clearances, 1 Headed Clearance & 1 Interception
  • 5 Recoveries

The stats from today pretty much back up his P90 data, nothing was seen today that fans hadn’t seen from him before, just today he lacked the sharpness and cutting edge he had shown in early appearances.

There is definitely potential there for Ridvan to become a quality player and cement himself as the first choice left back at Ibrox but any fans who were doubting his ability wouldn’t have had their minds changed today. You can see his intelligence in the runs he makes which a couple of times today were missed by his team mates, perhaps because they’re used to Barisic hugging the touchline for crossing opportunities?

His passing also wasn’t at it’s best today but it was really encouraging seeing him attempting those passes through the lines, trying to break through the midfield and defence, something Barisic rarely attempts.

Michael Beale really does have a huge decision on his hands for the rest of the season, which left back will he prefer? Whose play style suits his style more? Time will tell but there’s definitely more to come from Ridvan than what was on show today and that could be a key factor in the decision going forward.

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