Rangers’ £7m over-reliance costs club with potential £40m ramifications
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Rangers’ £7m over-reliance costs club with potential £40m ramifications

As Rangers count the cost of that Champions League defeat to Union Saint Gilloise, the absence of Ryan Kent was a startling one in Belgium.

Rangers’ first appearance at world football’s elite tournament for 13 years hangs in the balance courtesy of a 2-0 defeat that could also have £40m ramifications.

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But had Rangers’ £7m man been available, Ryan Kent carrying a knock from the weekend’s win over Livingston, things may have been at least slightly different.

Rangers were a side bereft of ideas and invention and whilst much has been made about the absence of Alfredo Morelos, it is telling that we lacked spark without Ryan Kent.

Even against Livingston, where the winger huffed and puffed at times, it was Kent’s cross for Scott Arfield that drew the equaliser and summed up Ryan’s contribution to the side.

This was after Kent had put the the ball onto Antonio Colak’s head for an equaliser than was ruled out but should’ve stood.

Rangers have an over-reliance on Ryan Kent that was shown up v Union Saint Gilloise

Even when things aren’t going right Ryan Kent continues to try his hand and it’s that relentless attitude and courage on the ball that we so clearly missed against Union Saint Gilloise.

Whilst it is frightening to think that Rangers are not equipped to deal with the absence of Ryan Kent, it’s a testament to the contribution of the winger to the club.

With the ex-Liverpool man out, USG could focus their energies on Rabbi Matondo and having played against the winger with Cercle Brugge last season they doubled up on the Welshman and knew how to stifle him.

Combine this with a lack of service/mobility in the final third, as Antonio Colak continues to polarise supporters, and Rangers were blunt, lacklustre and uninspired.

The good news? Rangers boss Giovanni van Bronckhorst has suggested that Ryan Kent could return for the Ibrox return v Union Saint Gilloise.

The bad news? The soundbites of the Dutchman hardly inspire confidence that it’s likely with things seemingly up in the air.

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“Ryan had a bad moment on Saturday when he had some problems with his ankle,” said van Bronckhorst.

“Hopefully he will be better for Saturday or Tuesday.”

Heading into Europe, or even Scotland, without the tricky winger is a tall order at present but let’s hope Ryan Kent is back in the squad and making a difference before long.

Whilst there is some doubt regarding Kenty, all the signs suggest another key Rangers star could return ahead of the Union Saint Gilloise clash.

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