Monday, 3 June 2019

Incoming international goals & assists king may fill big Rangers hole

For most Rangers fans, the news about Ryan Kent’s exit really has come as something of a blow. The Liverpool winger was electric at times at Ibrox, and his value skyrocketed to £12M while in Govan. He’s gone now, but those a little concerned at losing his influence may wish to console themselves with a statistical analysis of the player who is effectively his replacement.

Former Killie winger now Rangers attacker Jordan Jones has been in the press of late talking about his big move to Ibrox, clearly on cloud 9 at getting to a big club at a good point in his career.

But the man he’s replacing, Ryan Kent – Jones isn’t good enough to fill in the gap, right?

Well a look at the players’ respective stats for last season reveals a surprising parity between these two players.

Kent managed 6 assists and 6 goals, which for a team with as much of the ball as Rangers and for a player who is now worth £12M, actually isn’t anything stellar when you really think about it. It’s good, but not staggering for that money.

Jones, on the other hand, had 4 goals and 4 assists, which, for a team who hardly had any of the ball at all is a pretty impressive haul. For a free transfer, his stats are actually rather good given the defensive environment in which he played.

Now, take Jordan Jones into a possession environment, one in which he will have a tonne more of the ball and is still young enough to develop. Bear also in mind Jones has a fair few caps for his country too so he has high-level experience as well.

Now, suddenly the vacuum of Kent’s exit doesn’t seem quite as painful. 12 assists and goals in a possession team replaced by 8 in a defensive one.

They are of course different players – Kent was a dynamic pacey winger with skill and tricks, whereas Jones is more of a locomotive with end product, but for a free transfer, Steven Gerrard’s wily nous of bringing this lad in may actually have saved Rangers a lot of hassle in seeking something to replace Kent.

Time will tell if the NI international delivers, but the potential is there for him to do so.

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