Croatia boss labels Celtic defender "a solution" to "constantly injured" Borna Barisic

By David Walton

June 15, 2022

Croatia manager Zlatko Dalic has stated that Celtic defender Josip Juranovic is “the solution” to their left-back woes as he stated Rangers’ Borna Barisic is “constantly injured”.

Juranovic regularly featured in a left-back role for the Hoops last season as he swapped both flanks on a regular basis. But over the last week he’s also done the same for Croatia as he played his first 2 matches at left-back for his country in wins away to Denmark and France respectively.

The 2 performances and results will give Juranovic huge confidence ahead of his pre-season return at Lennoxtown. And it looks as though he could be set to feature there on a more regular basis.

Photo by Igor Kralj/Pixsell/MB Media/Getty Images

That’s because Dalic believes he’s a real solution with their other options for the position regularly sidelined through injury.

As quoted by Croatian outlet Sportske Novosti, Dalic said: “Both stoppers and Stanišić played very well [against France], but not only them but also Juranović at left back.

“We don’t care anymore [about injuries at left-back]. Sosa and Barišić are constantly injured, but I will not worry much about that anymore. We have Juranovic, we have a solution.

“Great praise for Juranovic and Brozovic because they played all the minutes in four games. They endured and ran. Brozovic covered 13 kilometers in Copenhagen and was at a high level again. Juranović on both sides, wherever you put him is silent, works and plays. I have to appreciate that.”

Josip Juranovic making an impact for Croatia after stunning debut Celtic season

Massive credit to Juranovic for the display he put in against the French on Monday night. Up against Christopher Nkunku, Josip stood his ground and didn’t allow France to build momentum on their right side.

It bodes well for Celtic given he was up against Champions League level quality here. Josip will come up against similar players when the Hoops enter Europe’s top competition next season. The fact he performed so capably against both Denmark and France is reassuring.

It’s also clearly done him no harm when it comes to his spot in the team ahead of September’s internationals. Croatia will be at the World Cup at the end of the year and Josip appears to be right in the mix for contention.

Photo by James Williamson – AMA/Getty Images

It’s bound to be something that gives him even extra motivation for the start of the new campaign at Celtic Park too. Several of Celtic’s top stars could be at Qatar and will know how vital it is to get off to a good start next term.

Juranovic, however, is one of few who could be there with a nation that will genuinely have hopes of winning it. It’ll be fascinating to see how he progresses and how many minutes he gets at the World Cup.

But for now, he can be delighted with his most recent international spell. Evidently, Dalic has plenty of trust in him.

In other news, Report: The 4 teams Celtic are competing with for Vinicius Souza; Bhoys have key advantage