'Huge' Filip Helander gives Rangers presence, says Steven Gerrard

Filip Helander
Filip Helander was introduced to Rangers fans at half-time of Sunday's friendly win over Marseille

Steven Gerrard believes new Rangers signing Filip Helander's "huge profile" will be an advantage in Scotland.

The Sweden defender, 26, has joined on a four-year deal from Bologna.

"You need that up in Scotland," Gerrard told RangersTV. "He can defend the box aerially.

"We want him to help us organise and keep clean sheets and defend the goal for his life. For the amount of money we've paid, £3m, we believe we've got an excellent player."

Gerrard, whose side beat Marseille 4-0 in Sunday's friendly, hinted he may switch from a back four to a back three with Helander on board.

"He's a left-footer so he gives us something we haven't got," said the manager. "He gives us that natural balance.

"We will be able to play a back three if and when needed. He can handle the ball, he's an international player and he's another leader. I don't feel as if we've got enough voices on the pitch so getting another leader in will certainly help us."

Daniel Candeias struck twice in the first half against Marseille, with Connor Goldson and Jermain Defoe adding second-half goals, summer signing Sheyi Ojo setting up Defoe's header.

It was a second 4-0 win in six days for Gerrard's men after Tuesday's victory over St Joseph's in Gibraltar, with the second leg of that Europa League first qualifying round tie taking place at Ibrox on Thursday.

"You can see the quality of the new signings straight away, they've hit the ground running," said Gerrard. "We're hoping Filip will follow suit.

"We're very close to where we want to be but now we've got to go and do all the hard work and produce that on a regular basis when the games come round."

Rangers celebrate
Rangers celebrate Goldson's goal against the French side

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