Former Celtic striker Chris Sutton believes that Rangers’ late deadline day signing of Ryan Kent is a panic move and has been heavily critical of the deal.
The former Liverpool midfielder joined the Gers for a fee believed to be in the region of £7 million, after a successful loan spell at Ibrox last season, a move which many in the blue half of Glasgow believe could significantly close the gap between themselves and their rivals.
Kent played 43 times for Rangers in his stint with the club in the previous campaign, finding the back of the net on six occasions, and giving off the belief that he can go from strength to strength under Steven Gerrard, in a side which has spent big in the last two summers, to attempt to finally end the domestic dominance of Celtic.
The 22-year-old looks to have plenty of potential in him, and perhaps just as importantly lots of improvement to be brought out, but despite that, Sutton believes the move to sign him was one full of panic.
“If Rangers signing the winger from Liverpool wasn’t down to sheer panic in the wake of the defeat to Celtic last Sunday, then I don’t know what is.” The former Celtic man wrote in his Daily Record column.
“Kent is a good player. I even suggested at the end of last season that Celtic should try to get him to boost the squad.”
“But it seems that, in the eyes of the Rangers supporters, Kent’s signing is a game changer. The last-ditch transfer window strike which is going to tilt the title odds back in their favour.
At best, that is optimistic. At worst, it’s bordering on hysterical.
I’ve no axe to grind with Kent. He’s got talent and did well in the games against Celtic last season when he was on loan. He tortured Mikael Lustig in one and scored in another. But that Parkhead strike was his only one in the last four months of the season.
I’d imagine he’ll make a positive contribution to Steven Gerrard’s team, but is he going to be the difference in the race for the league flag? I’d doubt it. I can’t see how he is really going to make such a whopping difference.”
Kent signed after Rangers’ last match prior to the international break, so he has not had the chance to begin his second spell at Ibrox, but when he does he will be out to prove Sutton and any other doubters wrong, and fire his new club to a long-awaited piece of major silverware.