Rangers supporters in the Transfer Tavern are eagerly anticipating the remainder of the summer transfer window, what with new boss Steven Gerrard already having stamped his authority on things at Ibrox.
The Liverpool legend was confirmed as Graeme Murty’s successor at the start of the month to take over ahead of the 2018/19 season, but he has already made some shrewd additions to his squad in preparation for an assault on champions Celtic next time round. Allan McGregor and Scott Arfield have both joined the Gers on a free transfer, while Brighton winger Jamie Murphy has turned his loan spell into a permanent one as Gerrard seeks to build a squad capable of challenging the Bhoys for domestic honours next term.
And the 37-year-old doesn’t look to be finished there either, as recent reports suggest that he is eyeing up a move for Liverpool wonderkid Ben Woodburn this summer.
Yet given his distinct lack of experience in senior football, Gerrard should forget about the Wales international, and instead seek to lure his £1.35 million-rated Reds teammate Ryan Kent (as per Transfermarkt) north of the border.
Ultimately, 18-year-old Woodburn certainly appears to be a star in the making, given he netted in just his second start for Liverpool back in November 2016, and indeed is already off the mark for the senior Wales team as well.
However, the forward would have just 11 senior club appearances to draw upon were he to move to Rangers, and given the pressure to hit the ground running and perform at Ibrox, being thrown into that sort of environment at the tender age of 18 could make or break the Welshman – ultimately, it’s surely too big a risk.
Whereas at least Kent has spent time away from Anfield accruing vital experience, be it on loan at Coventry City, Barnsley, and more recently Bristol City in this country, whom he appeared ten times for in the Championship last season, or indeed Bundesliga outfit Freiburg back in 2017.
And these spells away from Anfield will only serve to help the 21-year-old fulfil his potential at Ibrox, as there have been signs during his temporary stints away from Liverpool that he could be destined for big things.
Kent scored three times and laid on three assists for Barnsley back in the 2016/17 campaign to help keep them in the Championship, and while he hasn’t always impressed during his other spells, regular goals and assists for Liverpool’s development squad suggests that he is ready to embark on more league football.
And Gerrard could give him that at Rangers.
21-year-old Kent has already moved out of his comfort zone in his career in joining Freiburg at the start of last season, and while it may only have yielded six appearances, the experience of another country and a different kind of pressure can only serve him well in the future.
Yes, the pressure and expectation at Rangers is different from many other clubs around the country, but under Gerrard’s guidance and having spent time away from Liverpool before, it’s unlikely to be as daunting for Kent as it is Woodburn.
And with genuine ability in the final third of the pitch, the winger would also add a great deal to the Light Blues’ attacking ranks, giving Gerrard another viable option in that area of the field.
As such, the Gers should forget about luring Woodburn to Ibrox, as they’d be better served landing his Reds teammate Kent this summer.
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