‘He’s gone, move on ffs’ and ‘who cares about ex-players ffs’. Ok, with that out of the way, Ibrox Noise wanted to expand a little on the exit of Ryan Kent, and not so much Kent himself, but Michael Beale and his changes at Rangers.
As we alluded to in an earlier piece, Kent waved his goodbyes some months ago now and has moved onto pastures new, but it still seems like a puzzling end and more than a spot curious.
Kent went from ‘the most improved player under Michael Beale’ and the toast of Rangers fans to public enemy number one when it was pretty clear he wasn’t signing a new deal.
But why? Why didn’t he sign the new deal?
Well, while we’ve not exactly asked him directly (he’s a phone number we don’t have, sadly), it’s a big question.
Ryan Kent was settled in Scotland, and had his home setup with his partner and their horses – they had a pretty big house here and it seemed like he was happy.
Next thing he’s ripping it up to go to Turkey. Why?
We think the chat during the international break in spring, the one Michael Beale promised would see a ‘sit down’ between he and Kent over their contracts (and the others) demonstrated to Kent that Rangers, sadly, was no longer for him.
The change in system under Beale.
As we explained earlier, Beale is doing away with wingers – he played Kent almost entirely centrally as a 10, and under Michael Beale as manager, he managed only 2 goals and 4 assists in 21 appearances. Under Giovanni? 57 appearances, 20 assists, 3 goals.
Ryan Kent was never great for goals, he knows this himself, but he had somewhere between a one in three and one in two rate for assists under Gio. Not incredible, but very good. Under Beale, however, it was less than one in five.
Why? Because Michael Beale doesn’t play the wing system and it was killing Kent’s game. Clearly they had the chat and Beale explained what he wanted from Kent and for the future, and while there was a burst of form under ‘new manager syndrome’ when Beale arrived, Kent quickly realised this system wasn’t for him.
And he left.
Inside three appearances on the left wing as a pure winger for Fenerbahce (one being a first half), Kent already has an assist for Eden Dzeko. He’s already back to the peak Gerrard and Gio winger in the correct position.
Now, before we go on, this article is NOT a criticism of either Kent OR Beale. We are not criticising either of them. Beale really loved Kent and had been close to him since he was a kid at Liverpool. He thinks highly of the boy and the lad feels the same about Beale.
It’s just that the system Beale prefers doesn’t fit Kent, so he knew his future was elsewhere, as much as he’d wanted to stay long term. Ryan Kent would have remained a Rangers player for life had the changes under Beale fit the play he wanted to have. But he’s just not a 10.
He said it himself in the unveiling with Fenerbahce – that he’s direct, likes to dribble, take men on. You can’t really do that centrally, it’s wing play he’s talking about.
Of course, it’s kind of spilled milk now, Rangers are moving on without wingers and that is that, but it gives a bit of theory as to why Kent didn’t stick around.
Wing play is a bit finished at Rangers for this manager.