Many Glasgow Rangers fans disapprove of Steven Gerrard signing young potential stars on loan deals, only to be let down at the end of the contract.
Liverpool-owned Ryan Kent is a great example of why the fans have become disillusioned. Brought in to improve Rangers and himself, he achieved both.
He was terrific and won the SPFL’s ‘Young Player of the Year’ and what was the outcome? Now Rangers cannot afford to buy the attacking midfielder permanently.
Kent was given the benefit of a first-team place and European football in front of 52,000 fans at Ibrox, and blossomed into a top player, but at what cost?
Liverpool gains a big fat fee that Rangers cannot match.
Striker Jermain Defoe from Bournemouth has done well since joining Rangers in January, but the English club can recall him, it’s in his deal.
Southampton’s Steven Davis has now become a permanent Rangers signing instead of a loan deal, due to his late season’s sparkling form.
Powerhouse midfielder Lassana Coulibaly looked a great loan signing until badly injured, preventing the recovery of his early season form.
Nottingham Forest’s centre-back Joe Worrall kept Nikola Katic out of too many Rangers first-team games, which in my opinion was a Gerrard mistake.
Worrall commented that he was gutted to leave Nottingham for Glasgow. He came to gain experience and “to make his mistakes here and learn”.
He demonstrates the benefits he received as a result of playing in front of a fervent 52,000 fans in his temporary Scottish transfer deal. It was better for him than it was for Rangers.
Once Katic played himself back into Gerrard’s good books, he was different class playing alongside Connor Goldson, and is now first choice.
Another Liverpool loanee Ovie Ejaria looked very good on occasions, scoring a brilliant goal for Rangers in the Europa League.
Sadly Ejaria’s form faded and he was dropped from the starting XI and wanted to go back to Anfield halfway through his year-long loan-deal.
By contrast, winger Dalcio on loan from the Benfica B side was a complete disaster and one player that Rangers got entirely wrong.
Young Spanish attacking midfielder Jon Toral of Arsenal joined Mark Warburton’s Rangers from January to May 2017. He played 15 games and scored three goals.
At the end of Toral’s Rangers loan, he signed for Hull City for a reputed £3 million from Arsenal, the parent club for whom he did not play one game.
Emerson Hyndman shone in the SPFL with Rangers during his short four-month loan deal from Bournemouth. He was creative, with an eye for goal.
The Texan was a big hit at Rangers with four goals and four assists in 17 games over a short period and won ‘Young Player of the Year’ award.
In August 2018, Hyndman joined Neil Lennon at Hibs to replace John McGinn and played 19 games scoring once during his half-season loan-deal.
In August 2015, Spurs winger Nathan Oduwa signed for Rangers on season-long loan to play in the Championship. However, it didn’t work out and his loan spell was cut short.
Tottenham’s young defender Dominic Ball was a success during his one-year loan-deal at Rangers and played 30 games in a successful winning season.
Signing in August 2015 he helped Rangers return to the SPFL by winning the Championship and they also won the Scottish Challenge Cup.
In August 2015 Arsenal midfielder Gedion Zelalem was loaned to Rangers until January 2016, when his loan was extended until the end of the season.
Zelalem played in 21 Championship matches, helping Rangers clinch the title. He converted one of the penalties that beat Celtic in the Scottish Cup semi-final at Hampden.
Hibernian went on to win the cup 3-2, scoring two late corner kick goals, which Rangers poor defending failed to stop.
Then we were forced to suffer five of Newcastle’s younger loanees.
In February 2015, Slovenian midfielder Haris Vučkić was one of five players who signed for Championship side Rangers on loan to the end of the 2014–15 season.
Vučkić was advised to join Rangers to taste first-team football. He played in 22 games and scored nine times during his successful loan spell.
He scored on his debut in an embarrassing 2–1 defeat to Raith Rovers in the Scottish Cup.
The other Tyneside players were Kevin Mbabu, Remie Streete, Gaël Bigirimana and Shane Ferguson. None of these guys made any impression.
All of the above shows good reasons why I’m now against too many average loan deals, with players using Rangers as a springboard to learn and to experience first-team action.
The beneficiaries are clubs like Liverpool and Arsenal, who lend their young players tha are not yet ready for their first team, to gain experience.
By sending them to Rangers or Celtic to play for giant Scottish clubs, the youngsters enjoy the fans’ support and grow in confidence on the pitch.
Perhaps signing loanees with a prior option for Rangers to buy for an agreed fee will reward those successful at Ibrox.