A regular reader on the site recently made a comment which read our minds here on Ibrox Noise – Coco10 observed how the use of the loan market by Rangers in recent years has been a bit of a failure, and how we feel we’ve ended up as a developer club for other teams’ players.
It may sound harsh, and negative (we’re getting a lot of that at the moment), and we really hope this summer sees a much better use of the loan market, but overall, we’d have to argue it’s true.
While some of these loan players have done something approaching a turn, the majority have not, and overall Rangers’ exploitation of this system of acquiring players leaves a lot to be desired.
This season alone had been probably the best we’ve had for some years, and it’s been a very mixed batch; Jamie Murphy’s loan was considered successful with the option to buy, and it was taken up – but unfortunately the winger got injured and we lost him for the season. Bad luck, yes, but you make your luck, so they say. Jason Cummings’ loan was not and Gerrard wasn’t interested in extending his stay at Ibrox. Ovie Ejaria was a pretty awful signing and couldn’t wait to leave, while Joe Worrall did himself alright but was divisive at best and was always heading back south at the end. Umar Sadiq was painful beyond words, while Lassana Coulibaly’s bright start curtailed horribly and he failed badly. Ryan Kent shone brightly at times, but all Rangers really did was hiked his value hugely to a point where we can’t afford him. Jermain Defoe’s loan will probably continue this summer, and this one can be called a success, as can Steven Davis’, who secured a permanent deal and continued his form beyond it too.
But then we go further back – Declan John was technically a successful loan but got sold the first chance Steven Gerrard had, and Dalcio (remember him) was agony. Aaron Nemane was something approaching a joke, and Sean Goss started well but got scapegoated after the Celtic loss and was never seen again. Lastly Russell Martin was just a disgusting signing in every way, and one of the worst defenders we’ve ever seen at Ibrox.
A little further back and another two failures – Emerson Hyndman and Jon Toral. Some bright moments from both but their subsequent careers are huge red flags.
And so on.
So, patchy and mixed at absolute best, horrible and wasteful at worst. It’s not signing players on loan we have an issue with – every club does it and it’s often valuable. The issue we have is the dross we’ve collected and wasted our precious time with, players like Gedion Zelalem and Nathan Oduwa who both sank in their careers without trace after us. It’s us developing other clubs’ young players, at our expense, and acting like some sort of testing lab for the Academies of English clubs.
Rangers are better than this, and deserve better. We deserve better than giving Ryan Kent his career back and creating a £12M player for Liverpool at our expense. Sure, we got some performances from him and big moments v Celtic but the end meaningful profit for us was pretty much zero.
And that kind of loan market use has to stop. We have to stop being a breeding ground for other clubs’ rubbish – or a developer club for their best prospects.
Some of our loans do work out – and we are happy about those. But the majority just don’t and Rangers fans deserve players who want to be in our shirt and will give everything for that privilege.