With today’s confirmed signing of Ryan Kent on a season long loan, a trend appears to have started up under Steven Gerrard that we cannot say we’re overly keen on.
Last season, all loan signings, Sean Goss aside, were effectively trials – Jason Cummings, Russell Martin, Dalcio, Jamie Murphy etc were all brought in to see how well they’d do. ‘Try before you buy’. Great policy, and we endorsed it.
In one case it did work out and Jamie Murphy became permanent, but most didn’t and went home. Even Goss did look like Rangers would want him for good, but his form tailed off post-Old Firm and the fervour for that died down.
However, under Steven Gerrard, we’re seeing a trend begin that frankly Rangers should be above.
Ryan Kent, Lassana Coulibaly, Umar Sadiq, and Ovie Ejaria have all joined Gerrard’s Rangers on loan, but in at least two cases, have clearly admitted they’re here to get experience for their parent club.
In fact, during Kent’s RTV interview Nick Thomson borderline flagged it:
“And now coming here to Rangers, the exposure you’ll get playing in front of 50,000 people and the pressures which come with that I guess you’ll be hoping that prepares you in a good way for, hopefully, life at Liverpool and later down the line?”
Let’s add Ovie Ejaria’s statement:
“It’s a really great feeling. I’ve been at Liverpool for four years now and I’m just really happy to extend my stay here. It’s a massive club, the club’s doing really well at the moment, so it wasn’t a hard decision at all. I’m just going to keep working hard and see where that takes me. I really want to be a regular at Liverpool Football Club, a massive club, so that’s my aim.”
We should point out this was on the day his loan to Rangers was confirmed.
Have Rangers become a Liverpool Academy? Or a destination for out of favour players to restore their stock in the game and get a ‘better’ move?
We get the reality of football, that smaller clubs have to do this to get decent players – but Rangers, as we’re told by the club’s official channels over and over again, are not a small club.
We get it, loans are nothing new, but this really doesn’t look like the revolution we were promised.
It’s a little disappointing to see so many players arrive who see their future elsewhere – but after Alfredo Morelos was castigated for it last season, it’s become par for the course for new signings to be transparent that they don’t see long term future at Ibrox.
That’s worrying and we don’t like it.