Ovie Ejaria told Rangers boss he wanted to leave for '˜football reasons'

Rangers boss Steven Gerrard has revealed that midfielder Ovie Ejaria wished to leave the club for 'football reasons'.

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The young Liverpool loanee officially left the club on Saturday after two days of speculation following his failure to travel with the Ibrox side for their Europa League clash away to Rapid Vienna.

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Gerrard, who will look to bring attacking and creative reinforcements to his squad in the January transfer window, expressed his regret at midfielder Ovie Ejaria’s decision to cut short his season-long loan. He would not enlarge on the player’s reasons for wishing to leave.

Ovie Ejaria at training on Friday a day before he left the club. Picture: SNS

“First and foremost I have to respect the kid and his privacy,” said Gerrard. “Am I disappointed he’s gone? Yes. Do I think it’s the right decision? No, because I think he had an incredible opportunity here.

“But I’m never going to stand in a player’s way who is not happy and who is not settled because I have people who are desperate to wear the shirt and who would run through brick walls to wear it.

“I have to accept the decision. I’m sad about it, I wish him all the best. He’s a nice kid, very quiet. He told me it was 100 percent football reasons and I have to respect that.”