Ryan Kent has revealed he was moments away from joining Club Brugge and not Rangers, as reported on by The Scotsman.
The 22-year-old was almost on the flight to Belgium as he was sat in the departure lounge and, perhaps, preparing for Champions League nights against Paris Saint-Germain, Real Madrid and Galatasaray.
“I was pretty close to getting on the flight to Belgium,” he said. “I was already checked in and sitting in the departure lounge at Manchester airport. That’s when I got a call from my agent and the gaffer saying ‘Don’t go on the flight’.
“I was getting ready to sign for Bruges. They are in the Champions League and that was one of the main reasons I was heading there. It would have been a big platform for me to showcase myself against the best European clubs.”
However, Steven Gerrard gave him the call that he had waited for and admitted that he had a big smile on his face as he was about to seal the move his heart desired.
“But my heart was set on coming back here. I think I can achieve everything I want at Rangers and take myself to where I want to go. This is the first place I have really enjoyed my football. I was excited to come into training every day, I couldn’t wait to step out on the pitch at the weekend,” he added.
“That is down to the fans here, the coaching staff and the players. They made me feel special. The first day I arrived at Rangers everybody treated me not only as a player but as a friend. I have a lot of good mates here and as a team there is a lot of ambition. When I got that call at the airport, I had a big smile on my face. It was probably the first time I had smiled in quite a while.
“I was just delighted. That was the call I had been waiting for the whole transfer window and for it to finally come around was a no brainer for me. I had to get in the car and get up here.”
Whether Kent would be returning to Glasgow this season appeared to be a much-talked-about topic in the summer as the club hardly hid their desire to recapture his signature and Rangers will have been delighted to have been able to bring him to the club on a permanent basis.
The Gers are believed to have shelled out £7.5m to sign last season’s Scottish Young Player of the Year on a four-year deal and it would seem as though they did not have any issues getting the deal done once Liverpool came to an agreement with the transfer fee.
The possibility of testing himself on the grandest stage of European football against some of the continent’s biggest football clubs will have surely been an exciting prospect for the 22-year-old, but it appears his heart’s desire played a huge role in convincing him to make the return to Ibrox.
Kent went on to make 43 appearances for Rangers across all competitions, netting six goals and providing a further nine assists (Transfermarkt), although there is no guarantee that he will be a starter in Gerrard’s side this season.
The Bluenoses have the likes of Greg Stewart, Sheyi Ojo and Jordan Jones available to choose from in the same position, whilst Joe Aribo and Scott Arfield are versatile enough to provide the Light Blues with additional options.
Rangers appear to have been minutes away from missing out on Kent this summer and were, perhaps, fortunate that they were able to strike a deal with Liverpool when they did for the young winger.
The expectation at Ibrox will likely be high for the 22-year-old following his performances last season. However, if he is able to replicate those displays in the current campaign, then all the hard work the Light Blues had to do to get the £7.5m signing over the line will have been worth it.
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