Transfer deadline day saw a huge glut of activity at Ibrox, with four departures and a massive signing. And there are undeniable implications regarding the latter.
Ryan Kent, Rangers’ record signing bar one, ended up being the summer’s box-office capture at Ibrox, eclipsing even the saga for Charlton’s Joe Aribo.
But there’s an implication in securing the winger, an implication which hasn’t been spoken about too much such is the international break we’re now on.
In short, Kent is almost certainly going to be a first pick. We did discuss in a previous entry how even a high transfer fee wouldn’t guarantee selection, after all look at Filip Helander. But Steven Gerrard is a huge Kent fan and if he’s fit, he’ll play.
Which means the left side is now his, no questions asked. There may be deputies, yes, and rotation, true, but ultimately Kent will be the priority choice.
Which means there’s a bit of a selection headache – around seven players are effectively battling now to flank him on the opposite side:
Scott Arfield, Brandon Barker, Jordan Jones, Sheyi Ojo, Jamie Murphy, Greg Stewart and Eros Grezda may all occupy different priorities in the manager’s thinking, but with Kent almost certainly now the stick-on for the left side, the right becomes the only one open to competition.
And that means a fight between seven different men for the shirt.
Of course, Grezda and Murphy are potentially busted flushes, and may not even come into consideration, but Barker, Jones, Ojo and Arfield certainly do and four into one doesn’t go.
Many will argue that Jones and Barker are left wingers – yes, they are, but Kent almost certainly has exclusivity there. So the only way these other guys can be considered for a full-strength Rangers team is by adapting to the right hand side. Handy that Jones and Murphy are both right footed, which gives them an edge, but only means that they join Ojo and Arfield in direct competition.
It’s a strange situation – eight player for two positions but in reality one a stick-on and the other seven battle each other.
It’s certainly unconventional, but we can safely say we’d rather have this issue and have Kent, than not.