Fashion Sakala’s impending exit to Saudi Arabia is both a surprise and not, amid the Zambian’s polarising contribution to Rangers since arriving.
While he has a reputation for having great stats and scoring goals, his actual return for Rangers isn’t the best – just 24 goals in nearly 100 appearances, assists just 15.
There was some hype about him experiencing benefit from Michael Beale’s arrival, and for a little while his goals did increase a bit. Last season, in fact, was the best of his Rangers career, with 8 goals in 24 then 4 in 5 at the Split. Overall that is 12 in 29, however, which is quite simply average.
7 in 24 for his country too is nothing amazing either.
It’s all ‘decent’ but none of it is sensational – and he divides fans with his attitude.
See, Sakala has had a fake reputation for being a team player – ‘big heart’, ‘big smile’, ‘just happy to be here’, and a ‘great team mate’ when the reality is he’s one of the most self-centred strikers we’ve ever seen at the club.
Never passing, always taking a wild swing at goal, even the incredibly selfish Alfredo Morelos was more of a team player than Sakala, and the Zambian cost Rangers so many points particularly in big matches by going for the glory himself instead of offering to a teammate.
Even his infamous pre-Celtic press conference was all about him, about me, about my glory, about me me me, and he barely offered a word about anyone else.
You can get away with this if your product is good enough, but his fell way short, and the number of horrible matches he has had for Rangers completely outweigh his better contributions.
Even Zambia fans see it – recent matches with his country saw him suffer abuse for being selfish – we don’t condone fans hurling vitriol at players, but the motivation for it was sound, even if the method wasn’t.
And his own bad attitude and immaturity surfaced in responding to it, whereby he bit back, insulting the fans, and degrading them. Just can’t do that mate.
So if he is to get his move to Saudi Arabia, we can’t say we’ll miss him much.