In our latest instalment of the Flashback series, we take a look back at a certain moment and look at how things might have changed those initial reactions.
Rangers will hope to move to the top of the Premiership on Sunday when they take on Hearts at Ibrox, a game which may be of interest to a Norway-based striker who has represented both clubs.
In August 2018, Northern Ireland striker Kyle Lafferty swapped Edinburgh for Glasgow as he came back to Rangers for a second spell, having previously played for the ‘Gers for four years in the late 2000s and early 2010s.
Having had an initial bid of £200,000 rejected by Hearts earlier that summer, Lafferty was eventually signed on a two-year deal for a fee of £452,000 (as per TransferMarkt), joining off the back of a 20-goal season for the Jam Tarts.
Some pundits felt that the Ibrox club had pulled off a real coup, with ex-Rangers captain Lee McCulloch telling BBC: “He gives you so many options. He can play on his own and he could possibly be a great foil for Alfredo Morelos. He’s got pace, he can stretch a defence, and he has presence. I don’t see him as a prolific goalscorer but he scores important goals and I think that’s what Rangers need.”
The striker enjoyed a strong early impact in his second coming at Ibrox, scoring twice on his first Premiership game back with the club (a 3-3 draw at Motherwell) and also netting against Villarreal and St Johnstone in September 2018.
After that initial four-goal burst, though, the well ran worryingly dry for Lafferty. While Morelos enjoyed a wonderful campaign which saw him score 30 goals, the Northern Ireland native struggled to hold down a regular starting berth for Rangers.
A couple of weeks after his release from Ibrox, Lafferty told the Daily Record that he only had himself to blame for not doing enough in training to convince Steven Gerrard to keep him in the squad.
The 32-year-old said: “I would have liked to be asked to do more, to have had more game time but that was down to the manager. He watched me every day in training and I will be the first to hold my hand up and admit I’m not the best trainer.” [via Daily Record]
After scoring 36 times in 134 games for the ‘Gers in his first spell at Ibrox, Lafferty’s return was nowhere near as triumphant as McCulloch and McDonald had anticipated, with the player candidly admitting that he failed to make the most of his second chance at the club.
Rangers fans, did you think that Lafferty was a disappointment in his second spell at the club? Did you have high hopes for him when he came back to Ibrox? Share your views in the comments section below!
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