Glen Kamara: Rangers facing cash conundrum with midfielder as rebuild looms
Just ahead of the three-goal flurry for Michael Beale’s men that earned a 5-2 victory at home to St Mirren on Saturday, a rare event of recent times was witnessed. With 13 minutes of normal time remaining, Glen Kamara was introduced for Ben Davies. It earned the Finnish international only a second outing in almost two months, the brief appearance doubling his game minutes since the closing days of February.
Only one conclusion can be drawn from Kamara’s fading from prominence that has left him benched throughout five of Rangers’ past seven encounters. The writing doesn’t so much appear on the wall for the midfielder at Ibrox as daubed on it in giant-sized letters. Outside of injury spells since his £50,000 move from Dundee in January 2019, he has never been a more peripheral figure than presently. As he wasn’t, indeed, when Beale arrived in November and the excitable chat was how the Englishman’s return could reinvigorate a player enduring an unproductive campaign. Initially, it appeared the Beale effect could see the reappearance of the Kamara who was integral both to the club’s unbeaten title success of 2020-21 and the run to the final of the Europa League only 13 months ago. Then came the Viaplay Cup final against Celtic on February 26. The lifeless display of the playmaker – who had started five of the club’s prior six games – didn’t merely end in his hooking little more than an hour into the 2-1 defeat. It seemed to close Beale’s mind to any serious thoughts Kamara could be restored to his former status.
Castigated for selecting him ahead of new signings Nicolas Raskin and Todd Cantwell, something changed then for the Rangers manager. It is notable that since this deeply damaging loss, he has constantly referenced bringing “energy” and “legs” to the central area of his side – terms that don’t fit with the studied play of the Arsenal youth product. Fully integrating Raskin and Cantwell has been pivotal to this drive and, as a consequence, Kamara’s game no longer fits. Indeed, it is impossible not to deduce that when Beale recently discussed his revamp plans and said “some players within the club need to be sold and will be replaced”, the Nordic midfielder wasn’t precisely one of those he had in mind.
And therein lies the rub. Kamara was reported to have been the subject of a £10million bid from Nice on deadline day only last September. A year on from having agreed a five-year contract extension as Steven Gerrard talked of building his team around him. The Rangers faithful are convinced the player lost heart over the move to France. The club may have lost more than that, though. His form struggles since make it doubtful he would command a fee much more than £2m. Two years may remain on his current deal. However, with Rangers smarting over the probability they will lose two of their prime assets in Alfredo Morelos and Ryan Kent on frees at the end of the season, they are unlikely to play hardball, or delay, over parting with a player surplus to requirements. More precious millions slipping through their fingers as an unavoidable consequence.
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