Glasgow Rangers have confirmed on their official website that they have brought Steve Gerrard’s defensive target Filip Helander to Ibrox.
Despite some canny business this summer by the Gers, the Sweden international could well be the most important and help the club succeed in winning the title in 2019-20.
Gerrard jubilantly announced the signing of Swedish centre-half from Italian side Bologna.
The 6ft 4inch centre half has joined Rangers on a four-year deal.
“I am delighted to be joining Rangers, it’s a special club with tremendous fans and a unique history,” Helander said after the deal was announced.
“The opportunity to work with a manager like Steven Gerrard was an easy decision to make.
“I’ve come here to battle for every point and to win trophies and I’m looking forward to meeting my teammates and getting started.”
Helander made his debut at 18 for Swedish side Malmo, and won his first league title in 2013. In season 2014, he won a league and Super Cup double.
The same year he was named ‘Allsvenskan defender of the year for 2014’.
Helander played regular Europa League and Champions League football with his hometown club Malmo, so he is very experienced at this high level.
In July 2015, he moved to Hellas Verona in Italy at the age of 22, and in his first season he made 26 appearances and scored two goals, against Lazio and Inter Milan.
In August 2016, Bologna persuaded Helander to leave Verona for a season-long loan deal and followed this up with a permanent move a year later.
In 2016-7 and 2017-8, the colossal stopper made 41 appearances at club level and was named in Sweden’s 2018 World Cup squad in Russia.
He added a further 24 last season and was featured in four of Sweden’s European Championship qualifying matches this year.
There is no doubt that Helander has it in his locker to be a combative, strong performer who has experience of playing at the highest levels.
Gerrard will be hoping that Helander has the toughness to cope with the rough and tumble SPFL.
I don’t think Gerrard has paid £3.5 million for him to play second fiddle to Connor Goldson, Nikola Katic or George Edmundson in Rangers backline.