”I’m willing to wait until the last second of the window to get Ryan back here. He’s an exception because he was outstanding last year.” The Scottish Sun 21 July
”Nothing has changed on the Ryan Kent situation, We’d love to have him here, but Liverpool’s stance hasn’t changed.” 31st August Daily Express
Cut to second of September and Ryan Kent has signed for Rangers permanently. Gerrard had earlier warned that he would wait until the last second of the transfer window to get his hands on the Liverpool man, but most of us expected it to be another loan deal.
We expected Liverpool to budge as the player was hardly going to be involved with their first team and there was no significant interest for him after the English transfer window closed. With Liverpool standing firm on their stance, it was Rangers who had to make a move as they decided to open the vault to sign the winger for £7m.
That’s a hefty price to pay for a position where Rangers have already got plenty of options. But quality-wise, maybe Gerrard felt that nobody would be able to match the Liverpool man. Perhaps that is the reason why he didn’t play any winger in the Old Firm derby. A conspiracy theory like this went around on Twitter
Shout-out to Gerrard btw for playing no wingers during yesterday's old firm game sacrificing the 3 points in order to get the board to wake up over Kent and bring him home.
Well played gaffer it all makes sense now
— CJ (@Cjnovo992) September 2, 2019
Another of the replies read, ” Gerrard is playing chess while others are playing Checkers.”
Well, truth be told, Celtic played a hand in helping Gerrard pull off the signing of the signing in Ryan Kent. Who here believes the Rangers board would have sanctioned this move if the Gers pulled off the win against Celtic as expected? Exactly!
Why it’s win-win for everyone?
Jokes apart, it seems likely that the Old Firm defeat could have played a significant role in pushing Rangers over the line. Moreover, various rumours were doing the round that Liverpool could demand somewhere around £12m for the winger, which could have been way too much.
Gerrard played it smartly by letting it stretch into the final few days. With no bids forthcoming, £7m would have felt a decent sum for the Reds, and that did the trick.
Liverpool probably knew that if they held on to him for another year making him play for the u-23, his price would have gone down further so from their point of view also the move in the end made sense.
How could Rangers afford this?
Now a lot of question marks are being raised over how Rangers can afford this. This is again where Gerrard played it smartly by waiting to qualify for the Europa League again. Reports from the Express add that the Gers are going to receive a windfall of £10m for making it to the main draws and it seems like they have decided to use a good chunk of that to invest in Kent.
There is no doubt that this season is going to be about all or nothing for Rangers. The pressure will be on Kent as well. Providing just tricks, skills and work rate wouldn’t do the job this year, and he will need to contribute actively with goals and assists to get his team to challenge Celtic. In fact, just challenging will also be considered as a failure this season for Rangers after it seems like they have gone all in. Kent and Co will have to deliver the Premiership title.
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