Rangers today confirmed a continued partnership with video game giants Konami to put their image into the upcoming football instalment of PES 2021.
However, as good as this is for the club’s marketing (we’ll look into that later) we were more interested in the players the Japanese giants chose to promote the game with.
As you can see, the elected digital bunch are Connor Goldson, Ianis Hagi, captain James Tavernier, Scott Arfield and Allan McGregor.
We’re sure the in-game likenesses will be terrifyingly accurate (they were in 2020 we must say) but the players used were interesting.
Obviously no Alfredo Morelos – his impending departure and downturn in popularity speaks volumes.
Now, a lot of fans might be wondering why no Ryan Kent digital likeness. There’s a good reason for that – Kent’s hike to prominence has been pretty sudden – while we signed a stellar performer, last season wasn’t as outstanding, and it’s only the past month and a half where he’s started to really ramp it up. He is, however, in some photographic promotional materal as you can see above.
As such, his rise to this level of importance came a little too late for the marketing gurus in Japan so we basically missed the boat on that one.
The one we are surprised not to see in this publicity material is Borna Barisic. Arguably the most valuable asset at Ibrox, or close to, the Croat is nowhere to be seen and that’s puzzling.
Hagi is not that much of a shock – the name is global, he was a big signing, and was made permanent early enough in the year for this digital content to be prepared.
Arfield and McGregor are slightly surprising, but both are top class players and represent the club well, so it’s not hard to see why they’re there. Just kind of curiously ironic that neither are really playing these days!
Tavernier was a given, as the captain, but Goldson was also a bit puzzling – we would have expected Filip Helander in there, given his CV.
Indeed, of the five players used, just two are active internationals, and that is even more intriguing.
No places for Glen Kamara, Joe Aribo or Ryan Jack.
But either way, it’s always interesting to see who ‘outsiders’ judge and use when it comes to associating commercial deals with our club.
The game will be out in a week.