A number of Rangers fans ran aghast as a Liverpool tabloid recently reported a £12M asking price for Ryan Kent, with outrage descending over such a preposterous price, alleging the player is only ‘worth’ £5M and shouldn’t cost any more than that – Steven Gerrard has today confirmed an offer has been put in for him for another year, but as a loan again, it intrinsically appears.
As much as we at Ibrox Noise would love to say we Rangers fans have some kind of monopoly on the moral prominence on players being ‘valued’ correctly, we only have to point out Bristol City’s Lloyd Kelly.
Well, Bournemouth’s now.
Like Ryan Kent, Kelly has been playing a level significantly below the English top flight with Bristol City, and like Ryan Kent Kelly is extremely young.
In Kelly’s case, he’s only 21, he’s got a handful of caps for England U21s, where Kent’s exploits got him many for the U20s.
How much did Bournemouth pay for this youth international? £5M? £10M?
No, £13M, a club record. And that was for a defender.
The harsh reality Rangers fans need to realise is £12M is really the going rate for a talent like Kent, even without any significant EPL experience and especially in his coveted position.
Gone are the days when that kind of fee was reserved for the world’s best players, or even great ones – now it’s a borderline standard level of fee for a half decent prospect and little more.
And Rangers supporters thinking Celtic spending £10M on Edouard and Bournemouth £13M on Kelly is somehow on a different set of rules to us are sadly misguided.
Of course, there’s a caveat – if we can get Kent for less than £12M such as a loan again that’s great – and we are not going to object to getting something of his quality for cheaper than expected or as the option of a loan.
But we’re also not going to act like entitled and spoiled children just because we’ve been quoted the going rate for that kind of player.
We are a bit disappointed, admittedly, that Liverpool aren’t seemingly doing us any favours with regards to value, but all that does is confirm is they’d want the full price in a sale – they are, it may be, however, doing us a favour giving him on loan again rather than selling to alternative suitors.
And we’d have to commend them if they do loan the attacker back to us in face of rivals potentially offering millions.
We’ll see how it runs – but just remember – English players of his age and ability are not the £3M they used to be.