Steven Gerrard made a huge mistake by playing Ryan Kent as a number 10 in Rangers’ 2-1 defeat against Kilmarnock on Wednesday night, and it could even be argued that the Gers boss would be wasting the forward’s best talents and chances of development by using him out of position.
Kent arrived at Ibrox on season-long loan deal, as per the club’s official website, from Liverpool back in the summer as Gerrard raided his old club for the natural winger, Ovie Ejaria and Jon Flanagan; but it is Kent who has impressed the most in a blue shirt.
As seen on WhoScored, the 22-year-old has three goals in 11 Scottish Premiership starts this season, and has been in eye-catching form thanks to his ability to beat his man and make things happen in the final third.
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However, Kent lined up in a No.10 role behind Alfredo Morelos and Jermain Defoe on Wednesday night as Rangers took on Kilmarnock using a 4-4-2 diamond formation to fit the aforementioned duo in the starting XI, and despite taking the lead through the latter of the two forwards thanks to a predatory effort, Gerrard’s men ended up losing 2-1 to slip up in the title race.
Obviously, a strike force of Defoe and Morelos, the latter of which has notched 18 goals in all competitions this season (as per WhoScored), is a force to be reckoned with, but Gerrard ended up suffocating the pair in Wednesday’s huge defeat.
Kent’s best assets are his pace, trickery and ability to deliver a good cross, something that two poachers in Morelos and Defoe would thrive upon if the English winger was positioned correctly.
The move also saw Rangers operate with less width as they lined up in a 4-4-2 diamond formation, which was an odd switch to an unfamiliar system having usually lined up with either a 4-1-4-1 or 4-3-3 formation so far this term, as per Transfermarkt.
Could Gerrard have cost his side the title with his strange use of Kent on Wednesday?