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John Souttar backed to be ‘unbelievable signing’ for Rangers after criticism

John Souttar made his Rangers debut against Livingston at the weekend (Andrew Milligan/PA)
John Souttar made his Rangers debut against Livingston at the weekend (Andrew Milligan/PA)

Connor Goldson is adamant his new Rangers defensive sidekick John Souttar will bounce back and prove his quality after the Scotland international was heavily criticised following a chastening competitive debut away to Livingston.

The ex-Hearts and Dundee United player was at fault for the Lions’ opener on Saturday and generally struggled before being substituted in the second half as Gers fought back to win 2-1.

Fellow centre-back Goldson was disappointed by the online backlash against Souttar, but he has no doubts that his colleague will emerge as an asset for Rangers.

“I’ve been really, really impressed by him from the first week that he trained after we came back from Portugal,” said Goldson.

“I was disappointed on Saturday because I saw a few things on the internet and things like that, people obviously talking bad just because he’s had one game where he probably made a few mistakes.

“We’ve all been there, I’ve been there myself. I’ve been written off plenty times by Rangers fans but I see him every single day and see the qualities he has so I have no doubts at all he’s going to be an unbelievable signing for this football club.

“He’s an international player who’s 25 and has played however many games in Scottish football already. We know what we signed. He’s joined Rangers which we all know comes with pressure but you can’t judge people off one game.

“Livingston away is obviously not the easiest place to go with the (plastic) pitch and the way they play but we’ve all seen his quality and I’ve actually been more impressed just seeing him in training than what I thought of him from playing against Hearts.

“I knew he was a good player but everything he does is so crisp with the ball and he throws himself in front of things. He’s a great defender.”

Rangers kick off their European campaign on Tuesday with a Champions League third qualifying round first leg match away to Belgian side Union Saint-Gilloise.

John Souttar
John Souttar had a tough Rangers debut on Saturday (Andrew Milligan/PA)

Goldson, who recently decided to sign a new deal and stay Ibrox, is desperate to get his first experience of the group stage after Rangers suffered elimination at the hands of Malmo in the qualifiers a year ago before going on to reach the Europa League final.

“Champions League is a box I’d love to tick,” said the 29-year-old. “It’s the pinnacle  of football and where every player wants to play.

“But at the same time I don’t think that was a factor in my decision to sign my contract. Champions League has been part of the agenda for the last few years.

“Obviously last year we weren’t able to make it but hopefully this year we can and over the next few years me and this football club can play Champions League football.”