Rangers fans are reacting this morning to Ryan Kent’s likely reported exit, with Fenerbahce said to be his new club, and the climate is telling.
Very few Rangers fans have a nice word to say about Kent, the majority suggesting he downed tools a long time ago, while some are going further and claiming he never put a shift in.
This is, of course, complete rubbish, and the typical response of emotional football fans to change, to the exit of a stalwart who’s been part of the fabric of the club for approaching 5 years.
But they’re allowed to lash out, to rant, to get it all off their chest, the same fans previously hailing the lad for his performances v Dortmund, the same one who destroyed Wien and Celtic and Brown – he’s had many, many world class performances for this club, but the short memories only see this season.
Even then, they ignore his burst of form under then-new manager Michael Beale, during which 99% of fans were praising Kent for being so improved under the returning boss, and that was as recently as January.
Here we are in May, and that is all forgotten with his impending exit, and he’s now a waste of money, a waster, and he didn’t kick a ball in anger for the club.
When long-term players move on, generally fan reaction is unfavourable – especially when it’s for a free. If Kent had signed a new contract and was leaving for £10M say to Burnley, the reaction would be a lot more positive, kind and generous.
As it is, he’s going, randomly, to Turkey, for free, so supporters see the outlay, the money we’ve ‘lost’ (even though he paid it back by performances many times over) and lash out.
And that is also ok. Time will be kind to Kent in the end. Rangers will struggle to find a winger of his quality, and fans in the future will reflect on how good he actually was.
We do admit his focus has been off Rangers for a while now – a good three months or so he’s been low-key and not really at it. It’s fair enough – he knew he was going to be leaving, so why would he throw his heart into Rangers when the league was gone and he was moving on.
To be ‘professional’? Well, players have to think about themselves now and then, and Kent didn’t want injury to wreck a potential move as a free agent.
But fans don’t think like that, they expect every player to give 100% and anything less is flogging material.
So the support ain’t too happy with the boy.
We will be curious how his Turkish career goes, if indeed he does go out there, and he will go there with our best wishes. Maybe not the rest of the support’s though…