Rangers announced the signing of Zambian international forward Fashion Sakala this summer – but if it wasn’t for former Celtic star Jack Hendry the deal might never have happened.
Sakala, 24, has had a challenging introduction to life at Ibrox amid injury and having to adapt to life in a new country mid-pandemic, but the striker comes with decent pedigree.
Fashion scored 16 goals for KV Oostende last season with clubs from the Premier League, Ligue 1 and La Liga tailing his signature this summer.
Rangers managed to pip some big names to the forward and big things are expected of Fashion once he gets the opportunity to properly settle.
However, Scotland international defender Jack Hendry has been opening up on his relationship with the striker having spent last season on loan with the Zambian.
Hendry – who left Celtic for KV Oostende this summer only to be sold to Champions League outfit Club Brugge for £8.6m just months later – revealed that he gave a glowing Ibrox endorsement to his former teammate.
“I just relayed to him how big a club Rangers is and what an opportunity it was for him”, Hendry told the Daily Record.
“I also told him a bit about Glasgow. I then left Fashion to make his own decision.
“But he knew how big a club Rangers are and it was a massive opportunity for him. I fully expect him to grasp it with both hands.
“Fashion is a great person. He is very humble and he will give his all. The conversations I had with Fashion were really positive and I told him to go and grab this opportunity.
“Rangers are a massive football club and from what I have heard the coaching staff there are excellent.
“It will be brilliant for Fashion to go and work with a coaching staff of that calibre.
“I am sure he will keep learning and getting better and better. I am in no doubt he will kick on.
“Getting Fashion on a free could be a really, really shrewd signing from Rangers.
“Fashion is a player who excites the fans and gets them off their seats.
“I have to say he will thrive in that sort of atmosphere, playing in front of a full Ibrox crowd.”
So far Sakala is yet to get going at Ibrox but all the signs suggest this could turn out to be a shrewd piece of business for the Gers when the player gets going.
Speaking of Jack Hendry, what about those links to Rangers prior to the player joining the ranks of Club Brugge?