Rangers fans have reacted to the signing by Turkish giants Fenerbahçe SK of former Ibrox winger Ryan Kent with a mixed combination of good wishes, disdain, and general mockery of his ‘step down’.
The English attacker put pen to paper today and was announced in the Süper Lig as the Istanbul giants’ latest summer recruit, and he will hope to impress in his new country as the former Liverpool man faces a fiery initiation via the Champions League qualifiers next month.
Rangers fan reaction? Mostly disappointing, really. A combination of criticism of Kent, plus mockery of Fenerbahçe and the Süper Lig as a ‘step down’, despite the fact that, outside of Rangers’ astonishing European achievements in the past five years, nothing in this move is a step down at all.
The Turks are a huge side with a worldwide support that arguably exceeds Rangers and indeed Celtic’s, from a city of 15 million people – one only needs to see their social media following to see how big they are compared with Scotland’s giants.
And the Süper Lig itself is a strong league too, with rivals such as Beşiktaş J.K, Galatasaray and Trabzonspor.
So the idea Kent is going to a lesser league is a bit of arrogance from a number of Rangers fans; make no mistake, Fenerbahçe are a very big team and the Süper Lig is a tough league far superior to the Scottish Premiership.
It doesn’t match the big five, and is probably among the weaker of the ‘lesser’ five of Europe in Belgium, Holland, Portugal, Greece and Turkey, but it’s still a far better competition than many Rangers fans are currently giving it credit for.
Kent will find the league tough, unforgiving, and in fairness a lot of Ibrox fans acknowledge that, while curiously accusing it being a step down, which doesn’t seem to make a lot of sense really.
The reality is Kent is with another huge club like Rangers in the Turkish giant, and he’s definitely in a better league now. He will be hoping he thrives and gets his move to a decent top five league side in the next year or two.
Time will tell if he does.