Rangers’ swoop for Ryan Kent is being unfairly criticised

This article is part of Football FanCast’s Opinion series, which provides analysis, insight and opinion on any issue within the beautiful game, from Paul Pogba’s haircuts to League Two relegation battles…

Rangers’ swoop for Ryan Kent is taking all sorts of criticism, but the former Liverpool man could well be worth every penny of what the Gers shelled out for him.

What’s the word?

After Kent sealed a £7m switch to Ibrox, popular Liverpool fan site Empire of the Kop released an article claiming the Reds have collected a “whopping total transfer fee for offloading nothing but deadwood”.

Following journalist James Pearce’s tweet detailing the fees received by the Anfield outfit this summer, a quick look through the replies tells you their fans agree that they did ‘brilliant’ business, while one even says sporting director Michael Edwards “deserves a statue”.

That sentiment is being echoed by the media in Scotland too, where former Hearts and Hibs man Michael Stewart has asked where the money has come from for the Kent move, which has led to fans slamming the ex-midfielder for his apparent doubts.

However, you only need to look at Steven Gerrard’s former club to see that players are worth exactly what the buying club value them at.

Addressing a need

When Liverpool smashed their transfer record twice in the space of six months, splashing out roughly a combined £132m on Virgil van Dijk and Alisson Becker, they were laughed at by fans and media alike.

Fast forward 18 months since the Dutchman arrived on Merseyside, and the pair have just been named UEFA’s best goalkeeper and defender for the 2018/19 season.

Now, this is certainly not to say that Kent is going to guide Rangers to the top of the European pile, but rather to point out a very simple concept – both clubs wanted a specific mould of player, they identified the man or men to fit their needs and they went out and bought them. It’s really that simple.

Liverpool needed a dominant centre-back and reliable goalkeeper and they now have them. Rangers needed a direct threat from the left to prevent cumbersome performances like the one on Sunday, in which five central midfield players left them short of any pace or width, and they now have it.

And while he may not be one of the best in Europe like van Dijk or Alisson, let’s not forget Kent directly contributed to 15 goals for the Gers while on loan last term, including assisting the winner in an Old Firm, and also picked up the PFA Young Player of the Year award.

Rangers fans should not concern themselves with the cost of the move, nor should they be bothered by the external noise surrounding the fee. All that matters is the club got their man, and it’s now up to him to go and prove he is worth every penny.

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