Rangers news: Steven Gerrard slammed for Ryan Kent signing by Chris Sutton | Football | Sport
Rangers boss Steven Gerrard has been criticised by Chris Sutton for purchasing Ryan Kent at the eleventh hour of the summer transfer window following Celtic’s 2-0 win at Ibrox.
The day after the loss, Rangers moved late to sign Kent from Liverpool for £7million after a summer-long pursuit of the player.
Gerrard had previously said the Light Blues did not have the financial power to bring Kent, who impressed on a loan spell last season, back to Glasgow.
Some onlookers saw the acquisition as a panic buy in light of the Old Firm defeat, with former Celtic striker Sutton one of them.
He told the Daily Record: “Rangers, of course, will tell you he was always the one they wanted. That’s what clubs say. You can’t blame them. They have to dress it up.
“But if Kent was the one they were always going to get, why sign Jordan Jones? Why sign Sheyo Ojo? Why sign Jake Hastie? Why sign Greg Stewart?
“Mind you, given the fact Gerrard has been allowed to sign about 25 players since he walked in the front door of Ibrox just over a year ago, maybe it shouldn’t be that much of a shock.
“Nonetheless, it makes no sense to me. If that was the strategy all along, then it puzzles me. I’m more inclined to think the situation changed dramatically in the wake of the loss to Celtic last Sunday and it was a big outlay designed to appease fans who had just had their hope ripped away.
“Let me put this another way. If Rangers had thumped Celtic 3-0, do you think Kent would have been signed the following day? I might be wrong, but I don’t.
“Deals can take time to materialise. You sometimes have to wait until late in the window to make moves, but this one seemed strange.
“Of course, with one year’s experience of playing at Ibrox under his belt, there is a fair chance that Kent will improve on his figures in the coming season and Rangers will need that because Celtic damaged them.”
Gers were favourites heading into the game – to Neil Lennon’s surprise – but now lay three points behind their rivals in the table.
Kent’s arrival softened the blow but Sutton cannot help but feel it reeks of desperation.
“It was a high pressure game which many people, including myself, had thought Rangers might get something out of and Celtic prevailed with real comfort, so I suppose in some ways it was understandable that he [Neil Lennon] savoured it with a pressure valve released,” he added.
“That tension just switched straight onto Gerrard and Rangers. The same questions being raised about their abilities and the instant reaction was to buy Kent.
“I’m not going to criticise any club for shelling out their second biggest-ever transfer fee to land a talented player.
“However, I am prepared to be sceptical about the whole reasoning behind it. It doesn’t add up. It looks like a final throw of the dice. And an act of desperation from Rangers.”