If a recent report from Express & Star is believed to be true, newly appointed Aston Villa boss Steven Gerrard might raid his former club Rangers to secure the services of Ryan Kent during the winter window. The iconic Liverpool midfielder has been promised significant transfer funds to bolster the Villa squad and the Gers, therefore, might struggle to retain the services of their prolific English attacker.
Kent joined the Liverpool academy at the age of 7 and progressed through their youth ranks before breaking into the senior set-up. He was loaned out to the lower leagues of England to attain first-team football, also a temporary move to SC Freiburg was arranged by Jurgen Klopp. While he was fighting a losing battle to stake a claim in Klopp’s first-team plans, Gerrard came to the rescue by offering him an opportunity to be a part of his Rangers revolution.
The season-long loan back in 2018-19 worked exquisitely and the Glasgow giants tied him down permanently for an initial £6.5m transfer fee. Kent has been irreplaceable ever since and the charisma of Gerrard helped the Light Blues retain his services despite interest from Premier League. Leeds United kept close tabs on his development over the years, however, the Yorkshire giants failed to meet Rangers’ demand back in summer.
Why Kent’s Exit Would Be A Massive Blow For Rangers
Meanwhile, the winger is contracted at Ibrox until the summer of 2023. He has a £20m release clause in his deal and the Villa board might trigger the figure if their newly appointed chief sanctions it. He would love to reunite with his lethal attacking weapon at Villa Park and the revival of the Claret and Blues would highly rely on Kent’s impact down the left-hand flank.
Former boss Dean Smith roped in Leon Bailey and Emiliano Buendía following Jack Grealish’s £100m transfer to Manchester City. Neither has managed to replicate a similar show from the wing and Smith, too, could not offer an alternative to cope up with the high-profile exit. The Rangers star holds similar traits to Grealish as he focuses more on work ethic, pace, power and dribbling skills.
The Gers have ample attacking options in their ranks, yet they struggled high up the pitch during his injury absence. The 25-year-old former England youth international returned to action in recent games recovering from a hamstring strain and his dynamic runs, as well as directness, have now restored the firepower and balance. The likes of Fashion Sakala, Scott Wright and Kemar Roofe have been tried out down the left, but the sudden egress of Kent would jeopardize their title defence.