Michael Beale :Glasgow Rangers had bounced back from an underwhelming start to the season to embark on a solid winning run which had seen the Gers open up their Europa League campaign with a victory while securing passage to the semi-finals of the League Cup.
Michael Beale has come under some criticism
due to his side’s style of play this term though, with the Light Blues even being booed off the pitch following the 1-0 win against Motherwell last weekend, and it all came crashing down again on Saturday against Aberdeen.
This perhaps sums up the mood around the club at the moment, and he will need to maintain the momentum gathered over the previous few weeks in order to regain the supporters’ faith.
Signing nine players in the summer was part of a much-needed overhaul, yet it is clear that only a couple have really settled into life in Glasgow well and contributed effectively. Jack Butland has been the standout, establishing himself as the number one goalkeeper, and It’s something that the club needed having endured their fair share of struggles in the goalkeeping department last season.
Beale also moved on numerous players during the transfer window in a bid to trim the wage bill and raise funds for future incomings. Were all of these departures the correct move however? Well, one player has seen his value rise significantly since leaving Glasgow at the end of last season – Ryan Kent.
How much did Rangers pay for Ryan Kent?
The winger had spent the previous five seasons at the Ibrox side having initially signed on loan for the 2018/19 season, before joining on a permanent basis for a fee in the region of £7.5m from Liverpool.
The youngster was clearly happy to be returning to Glasgow, saying: “I am delighted to be back here. It has been a quite a long summer, a lot of things could have potentially happened but I am delighted to be here.
“I won’t lie it has been incredibly tough over the summer but I am a mentally strong person as it is anyway. I knew if I kept myself correct something good would happen soon and I have been ticking over, keeping myself to myself and this has happened now and I’m over the moon.”
Steven Gerrard was building a side which he hoped would be able to topple Celtic and return the Gers to the top of the Scottish game and Kent was going to be an integral part of this.
What happened to Ryan Kent?
The Englishman scored six and seven Premiership goals respectively during his first two seasons at the club, and although they finished without any trophies during these campaigns, Gerrard was building something special.
Indeed, Kent stepped up during the 2020/21 season, registering 27 goal contributions across all competitions – 13 goals and 14 assists – and this included ten goals and ten assists in the league as the Light Blues went on to win their first title in a decade.
He ranked second across the squad for goals and assists during that title winning season while also ranking third for big chances created and second for successful dribbles per game, which indicated how impressive he was as an attacking threat.
His goal tally dipped over the course of the subsequent two campaigns however as the 26-year-old went on to score just three goals in both 2021/22 and 2022/23, as his form dipped in front of goal. It was evident that his performances last season weren’t quite up to the required standard and with his contract expiring its conclusion, Beale had a decision to make.
Kent eventually left the club for nothing as a decision between him and the club couldn’t be worked out, but this is now looking like a bad call by the manager.
How much is Ryan Kent worth now?
The former Rangers gem was hailed as a “wizard” by Leon Balogun, and it didn’t take him long to find another club after leaving Scotland, joining Turkish side Fenerbahce during the summer.
According to Football Transfers, Kent was valued at €6.9m (£6m) when he left Rangers in May and considering he cost the club £7.5m just four years previously, it represented a massive loss.
Since joining the Turkish side however, his valuation has risen sharply in just a few months as he is now worth €12.2m (£10.5m) and should he rediscover the form which pleased supporters in Glasgow during their title winning season, then this will only increase in the coming months.
The former Liverpool gem has managed to make seven appearances for his new club, scoring once and grabbing an assist and he looks to settle into a different culture and a different way of playing football.
It may just bring the best out in him and perhaps a change of scenery was what was needed for the 26-year-old to return to his best. Indeed, across three league matches so far, Kent has already created one big chance while averaging 24.7 touches per game, succeeding with 1.3 successful dribbles per game – a success rate of 67% – and winning 64% of his total duels, and he is impressing over a wide range of metrics.
It is still early doors for the left-winger, yet they seem positive and if he manages to continue this decent form, he may fancy his chances of securing a move back to England at some point in the future and finally play in the Premier League.
Although Beale went and signed forwards Abdallah Sima, Danilo, Sam Lammers and Cyriel Dessers, only Sima is an out-and-out winger and Beale has failed to improve his wide options during the summer.
Kent didn’t enjoy the most productive of seasons for the club during 2022/23, but there is no doubt losing him has diminished their quality in the final third. On his day, he was arguably one of the finest attacking players in the country and losing him without gaining at least a transfer fee is surely one of Beale’s worst decisions so far as Rangers manager.
Considering he is now worth £10.5m, he would have netted the club a solid profit had he been sold before the expiry of his deal.