Carlos Pena’s return has been all but confirmed today after Necaxa told him he can go back to Glasgow.
Despite being sent out for a six-month loan deal at the start of the season, reports in Mexico claim he’s been sent back. This means that Pena is set to report back to Ibrox imminently.
One of the biggest annoyances about this is the fact that Pena can’t even feature until January. That means Rangers are going to be spending over £200k on a player who won’t be playing. With Pena’s wage in excess of £20k-per-week, that’s a worrying amount of money to be throwing away.
Regardless, it’s going to have to be a necessity as Pena returns after not featuring in any of the last two matchday squads. Added to that, he only appeared five times for the Mexican club since joining.
For some reason, Pena has been unable to make his loan deals stick since arriving at Ibrox.
Initially, he followed Pedro Caixinha to Cruz Azul. A series of alcohol-related incidents, however, forced the club to sack him as he checked himself into rehab.
Credit to Pena for recovering from his addiction, but he was given a huge chance with Necaxa that he hasn’t taken. Even Necaxa’s club president, Erneston Tinajero, warned him this was his last chance in football.
That decision won’t be down to him, however. He’ll be welcomed back to Rangers like all loan players will upon returning.
Needs to impress
Gerrard, however, now has the big decision to make about getting some value out of the highly-paid flop. Pena has to look at the likes of Andy Halliday, for example. If anyone looked down and out at Ibrox, it was him. But, after impressing Gerrard consistently in training, he earned his way back into the side.
Pena, quite simply, has to start trying to impress in the same manner at Ibrox. For one reason or another, these loan spells haven’t worked out. That will be a big concern to Gerrard.
Rangers, however, cannot keep spending upwards of £20k every week on a player who provides nothing. Considering Pena still has 18 months left on his contract, a decision simply has to be made.
Does Gerrard give him yet another shot at Ibrox? He’s yet to really see Pena up close on many occasions, and could maybe do with assessing him once more. Or, do Rangers try and find yet another loan spell for him and find another club to help pay his wages?
That could be difficult. It would be surprising if any sides in Mexico were willing to touch him now. Two failed spells in his homeland must have now damaged his reputation there.
Getting clubs to have an interest in Pena, given his previous reputation on and off the field, may be a step too far.
Therefore, it may have to be the fact that Rangers see what they can get out of the Mexican. There’s clearly a footballer in there, but it’s going to take the right man to get the best from him.
Is that man Gerrard? That’s a question the Rangers manager will have to answer himself.