Ibrox Noise readers will recall this piece we penned recently where we defended Ryan Kent and explained that while his form isn’t visually as sparkling, he’s still been working hard (if not as hard as usual) and he’s continued to try.
And that the only thing Ryan Kent really needed was confidence, and an ignition, and he’d get back to his old self.
Last night, Kent’s cameo obliterated Antwerp and demonstrated clearly what confidence can give a player like him.
On with 40 minutes to go, Kent managed three shots, two of which were on target, and an excellent 87% passing level.
He got the ball 35 times and his off-ball movement was excellent. His one-two with Alfredo Morelos for the goal was absolutely exquisite, and then his dribble and finish to make it 3-3 was just spectacular.
That’s the Ryan Kent we explained to you that paid back his £7M fee last season in Braga.
Last night he did it all over again with an excellent cameo and a truly world class goal.
Kent just needed a lift, a spark, a moment that reminded him what he can do.
Steven Gerrard managed this perfectly – he claimed Kent was carrying a knock, but that was just lip service to protecting the winger’s form and morale – putting him on as an impact sub ended up being a wonderful move which gave Kent less expectations and less pressure, and more chance to play as he can.
There’s no doubt Kent remains Rangers’ most dangerous attacker – no one has his pace, no one has his trickery and no one can do what he does.
In full flow and full confidence Kent is a £30M winger, and displays like last night show that player full blast.
We’re really happy for him, and hopefully he has a strong end to the season now.