Swedish international Filip Helander joins Rangers
Filip Helander of Sweden during the EURO Qualifier match between Spain v Sweden at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on June 10, 2019 in Madrid Spain (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images)

Rangers have completed the signing of Swedish international Filip Helander on a three-and-a-half-year deal.

The 26-year-old centre back becomes Steven Gerrard's seventh signing of the summer after joining from Serie A side Bologna.

Past playing experience

Helander arrives at Ibrox having made over 100 appearances in Serie A, however, he began his career in his home nation with Malmo FF.

He made 72 appearances for the Allsvenskan side between 2011 and 2015 before joining Hellas Verona, the side where ex-Celtic and Hibs midfielder Liam Henderson currently plays.

The big Swede impressed during his time in Verona, where he scored goals against Italian giants Inter Milan and Lazio, before joining Bologna on a loan-deal which was then made permanent.

He made 60 appearances for the side and his performances during his time in Italy have earned him 10 caps for the Swedish National Team.

High praise

Helander arrives at Ibrox with high expectations. His relatively big price tag signals intent from the Gers, although boss Steven Gerrard has insisted that £3.5 million is a bargain for a defender of Helander's quality. 

Speaking to the Daily Record, Gerrard said: "At £3 million for him, we’ve done really well.

“If you look at what is going on in the market in front of us, in England and around the world for a centre back, £3 million is money well spent. But he has to go and prove it now."

Gerrard has also suggested that Helander may be the final piece in the jigsaw for the Gers, who have struggled defensively at times. He said: "To have someone of his calibre, a Swedish international with his height and profile - he ticks a lot of the boxes we were looking for.

"He naturally gives us balance as a left footer.

“That enables us to play with a two or with a back three. He will be able to defend our box and be a threat at set pieces.

“He is comfortable on the ball. He’s a good man, he’s a leader."