Since Aston Villa manager Steven Gerrard opted to swap Glasgow for the Midlands last month, the Premier League side have continuously been linked with Rangers winger Ryan Kent.
According to the Daily Mail, the Villa boss is “reportedly ready to raid former club Rangers for Ryan Kent”. The 25-year-old has been subject to interest from Premier League clubs before, with Leeds United previously interested according to The Athletic, who claimed that the Scottish champions were holding out for £20m in the summer.
The 41-year-old brought Kent to Ibrox on a permanent basis for £7.5m in 2019 after the Liverpool academy graduate impressed on loan the season prior, winning the PFA Scotland Young Player of the Year Award.
With Gerrard opting to use a 4-3-3 formation, the performances of wingers are crucial to Aston Villa’s success. In the three games that the new boss has overseen, he has deployed Leon Bailey, Emi Buendia, Ashley Young and Ollie Watkins out wide, with the former two seeing the most game-time on the flanks.
Watkins is predominantly a striker whilst Young won’t be a long-term option at 36 years of age. Therefore, if Kent were to join Villa, he would most likely have Bailey and Buendia as competition for a starting spot.
Furthermore, Bailey has struggled with injuries since arriving in the West Midlands, starting just four Premier League games, which could potentially open a pathway for Kent should he join Aston Villa and the Jamaican’s injury woes continue.
Currently valued at £12.6m by Transfermarkt and reportedly earning £20k per week, the 25-year-old has scored 28 goals and registered 34 assists in 143 appearances since joining Rangers and played a vital role in them winning their first league title in ten years last season, with 21 goal contributions in 37 games en route to that triumph.
Moreover, the new Villa boss knows the player well, having worked with him in the Liverpool youth ranks and at Rangers, which could prove essential should the winger opt for a move to Birmingham.
In the past, Gerrard has labelled Kent “a constant threat”, and there’s surely no doubt that the former Gers boss would welcome a reunion with the winger. Just imagine the thought of him and Buendia providing ammunition from the flanks at Villa Park on a regular basis.