CROATIA Under-21 boss Nenad Gracan has backed Borna Barisic to prove his worth at Ibrox after seeing his first campaign with Rangers disrupted by injuries.

The left-back signed a four-year deal with Steven Gerrard’s side last summer as he completed a move from Osijek just days after the Light Blues overcame the Croatians in the Europa League qualifiers.

Barisic was the star man in both legs of the second round tie but struggled to have the impact that many expected after joining up with the Gers and he missed several weeks of action with a series of knocks.

Countryman Nikola Katic, who moved from Slaven Belupo, made more of an impression and will be part of Gracan’s squad at the European Under-21 Championships this summer.

But the 57-year-old is confident Barisic can showcase his talents next term as he and Katic look to kick-on under the guidance of boss Gerrard.

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Gracan said: “It's good for any young player who's moving abroad to have someone who can help him adapt to the style of life in his new city, as well as to the way things are organised in the club.

“Of course I rate Barišić highly - he's a player for our men's senior team, and I think he has a lot of potential.

“He's had a mixed season, but I believe that's mostly due to the fact that he's also had some unlucky issues with injuries. I know he can be an important player for Rangers in the future.”