Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard has proven to be an inspired managerial appointment at Rangers since his arrival at Ibrox in 2018.
The former England midfielder has successfully managed to wrestle back supremacy for the Gers in Scottish football, winning the Premiership title in the 2020/21 campaign and now trying to defend Rangers’ crown this term.
Along the way, he has made some shrewd decisions in the transfer market, both in selling players and in signing them. One player on whom he made an astute call was left-back Declan John.
Gerrard arrived in 2018 and the sale of John was one of the first decisions he had to make in terms of recruitment, with the defender ultimately being sold to Swansea for a reported fee of £801,000. This was after he played 31 times the previous season, scoring three goals and providing four assists from left-back.
In the subsequent three years since leaving Ibrox, John has gone on loan to Sunderland and Bolton and then left Swansea permanently for the Trotters and is currently playing in English League One, having been promoted out of the fourth tier last season.
Transfermarkt currently has him valued at just £270,000. This is a 66% decrease from the fee Rangers received from Swansea for his services in 2018, despite him now being in what should be the prime years of his playing career at the age of 26.
His value plummeting since leaving Rangers suggests that it was a masterstroke from Gerrard to sell him at the time, as his decrease in value could have happened with the Ibrox club had they opted not to cash in on him. Therefore, it may have been perfect timing from Gerrard and the Light Blues in making the most of the situation by getting rid of someone who, quite frankly, had been a bit of a flop in Glasgow.
What makes the deal even better from a Rangers perspective is that the man they brought in to replace John was Borna Barisic. The Croatian left-back has gone on to play 119 times for the club, scoring seven goals and providing 33 assists and is now valued at a cool £5.4m, 20 times greater than John’s current valuation.
Therefore, it was an all-around masterclass from Gerrard. The 41-year-old was able to sell a player in John before his career took a turn for the worst and duly replaced him with an upgrade in his position who is now worth far more than his predecessor.
AND in other news, Gerrard provides fresh injury update that’ll leave Rangers fans delighted…