Steven Gerrard believes that Ovie Ejaria made a mistake by giving up at Glasgow Rangers, but the fans had made up their minds that he was not good enough for the first team, and I agree with that verdict.
The 21-year-old seems a decent guy but most of the games simply passed him by, and I just can’t see him being a success at the highest level of football.
Ejaria joined Rangers in the summer on a season-long loan deal to play under the guidance of Gerrard and earn some much needed first team experience – and he failed.
The boy’s got ability and when he’s in the mood he can be a joy to watch, but he is so inconsistent and is pushed off the ball far too easily.
Given the amount of faith Gerrard showed towards the Liverpool player it’s no surprise that he is disappointed with how it’s all turned out for Rangers and Ejaria.
How Ejaria made 28 appearances in a Rangers jersey I cannot understand, because he struggled badly in most of his starts. He is too slow for Scottish football.
Gerrard doesn’t believe that Ejaria’s return to Anfield early will make the Reds less likely to loan more players to Rangers, and I agree with that.
“I don’t think there will be a problem, no,” he said. “That’s because we’ve just sent one player back who’s played 25 times, 11 times in Europe, who wore the number 10 for Rangers on front of 51,000 people.
“We’ve got another Liverpool player here (Ryan Kent) who has played probably around 20 times, who has reignited his career after two bad loans.
“He’s doing unbelievably well and I want him fit as soon as possible. He’s having the time of his life”
“Kids are different, characters are different. I have to accept that.”
England under-21 Ejaria decided to return to Merseyside after loads of complaints and comments by the notoriously hard to please Rangers fans.
All but five of his 28 appearances were in the starting X1, and he only scored two goals and assisted in very few others during his failed time in Scotland.
He suddenly found himself out of favour and on the bench due to his poor stats and performances. Then decided to go back home early.
Ejaria leaving mid-season is a slap in the face to rookie boss Gerrard who is trying hard to build a great side in Glasgow.
Generally a safe signing option, loan deals can carry some risks and perhaps the collapse of this one will see the manager pursue proper signing deals as more of a priority in future.
Liverpool thanked everyone at Rangers for their contribution to Ejaria’s development, stating:
“Liverpool would like to thank Steven Gerrard, his staff and everybody at Rangers for helping the 21-year-old develop and improve during his time at Ibrox – an experience the club believe has been extremely beneficial for his career.”
Gerrard admitted that he needed to sit down and talk with Ejaria, who he described as “slightly unsettled.”
Rumours started to circulate that the midfielder could be on his way back to Merseyside after he deleted his Twitter account and removed all association to Rangers from his Instagram page.
Rangers have now confirmed he will in fact leave the club, via a statement on their website.
“Rangers thanks him [Ejaria] for his commitment and efforts. Everyone at the club wishes him well for his future.
“We also thank Liverpool for their assistance.”
“Am I disappointed he’s gone? Yes. Do I think it’s the right decision? No, because I think he had an incredible opportunity here.
“But I’m never going to stand in a player’s way who is not happy and who is not settled because I have people who are desperate to wear the shirt and who would run through brick walls to wear it.
“It is what it is. I have to accept the decision. I’m sad about it, I wish him all the best. He’s a nice kid, very quiet.
He told me it was 100 per cent football reasons and I have to respect that.”