When today’s Rangers team was announced, many were surprised to see both Scott Arfield and Ryan Kent included from the start.
Arfield had missed the last two matches, after picking up a knock during the recent 0-0 draw at Easter Road.
Kent, was a longer-term absentee. Two separate hamstring injuries had limited him to just one appearance, since the beginning of November.
Did someone say Kent & Arfield? pic.twitter.com/dmXxs042vt
— Andy (@NoFollowersAndy) December 29, 2018
Over that period, Glenn Middleton and Eros Grezda had deputised for Kent. Lassana Coulibaly pushed further forward to cover the Arfield sized hole.
However, today showed just how valuable this pair are.
Kent was electric, Arfield combative and composed
Canadian international, Arfield, seemed to be first to every ball throughout the 90 minutes.
He brushed off Scott Brown with disdain on several occasions and linked up with Morelos in a way Coulibaly hadn’t quite been able to manage in previous outings.
He added quality and experience in the final third, and should have got himself on the scoresheet.
When replaced by Jon Flanagan in the closing stages, Ibrox stood to salute an excellent display.
Liverpool loanee, Kent, brought a dynamism that the Gers have badly lacked recently. It was undoubtedly his best display since arriving in the summer, as he destroyed experienced Celtic full-back, Mikael Lustig.
On occasions, he drifted inside to good effect. Most importantly though, his solo run and cut back provided the assist for Ryan Jack’s winner.
Despite their recent absences, both men were fantastic from the word go today.
With the title race now firmly on, keeping these two players fit and contributing, will be a priority in 2019.