With Liverpool’s Sheyi Ojo being the only loan deal arriving at Rangers this summer so far, Ibrox Noise felt it was worth a look at why. Why has there only been a single loan deal this pre-season compared with the pile of them over the previous two windows under Steven Gerrard?
Bear in mind management has been heavily positive about use of the loan market, with assistant Gary McAllister admitting it was a productive place to accrue players.
And yet, just Ojo this window so far.
One look at our recent loan record sums it up.
Let’s have a look, player by player, at all the lads we’ve borrowed since Steven Gerrard became manager.
Hailed as a creative playmaker, Ejaria’s face tripped him his entire time in Glasgow, and Gerrard knew fairly early on this was a bad signing but had to play him – that playmaking was non-existent, and while he was surprisingly strong and composed on the ball in the middle of the park, Ejaria didn’t seem to quite understand the game particularly well. In short, he was pretty ineffective in most of his appearances and he was well-reported for hating the physical Scottish game. Not strictly blaming him for that one, in his defence. Was shipped back to Liverpool before Xmas. 4/10
A well-rated Roma youngster, Sadiq had been impressive in Holland on loan, and despite his frame was expected to perform in the SPL. Erm… no. This was a genuine disaster, Gerrard’s Dalcio. A reasonable cameo at Hampden v Aberdeen aside, Sadiq was a borderline joke. Lasted longer in Govan than we expected, in truth. 0/10
One of the more controversial ones. Forced fan-favourite Nikola Katic out of the team by way of appearance clauses, and his major crime was not showing up properly for all matches, and just the big ones. When he started gaffing in the bigger ones too, he became criminally unpopular. Just wasn’t the right fit for the club. 5/10
A curious one – won YPOTY and yet only really stood out in about 5-10 matches. When he did stand out though he was absolutely remarkable and destroyed entire teams on his own, but it took him about four months to raise to that level, and in the second half of the season teams seemed to have clicked onto his danger a lot more. Was often guilty of being a little anonymous and not effecting games enough. Still was a crucial part of the team though and gave a left-sided balance to the formation. It’s not a shock we want him back. 8/10
We talked about him yesterday, no need to cover it all again. Yeah, this one was a dud, ultimately. 3/10
It’s odd looking at Defoe as a loan, because usually they’re Academy lads – Defoe is a veteran and arguably the most clinical finisher in the SPL. He’s on an 18-month loan deal, and because of the circumstances of this loan it’s hard to include it in the conventional manner. But to be fair, a loan it is, and it has been a good one. 8/10
This was made permanent even when he wasn’t delivering, and in fairness up till the split he really wasn’t. And while it was a loan Davis was sluggish, off colour and wasn’t up to the speed or match fitness required. But from the opening match of the split in his new position, he was a completely different player. Utterly reborn. Rating before the split: 2/10. After? We’d even say 10. He was that good. Overall, we hope for the continuation of the latter, and we’d say it was a successful loan, technically speaking.
So, aside the two January veterans, when we look at the loan success of Rangers players under Gerrard, it’s not great. Kent was really the only stand out.
It’s no wonder Gerrard is going more for free agents and budget signings this time around. Why his policy appears to have shifted onto permanent acquisitions. The loan market for young players, put simply, isn’t working for us.