Why Rangers will miss Daniel Candeias but accepted his desire for a move - and what it means for Ryan Kent

The news which emerged on Thursday that Daniel Candeias could leave Rangers for Turkish side Genclerbirligi didn't come as a huge surprise.
Could Daniel Candeias' potential exit speed up the pursuit of Ryan Kent? Picture: SNSCould Daniel Candeias' potential exit speed up the pursuit of Ryan Kent? Picture: SNS
Could Daniel Candeias' potential exit speed up the pursuit of Ryan Kent? Picture: SNS
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The winger had been left out the squad for the club's Europa League first round qualifier, although there was a certain curiosity about it.

This is a player who was one of Pedro Caxiniha's very few successes as Rangers boss. He adapted quickly to Scottish football and built a potent partnership with James Tavernier down the right-hand side.

Could Daniel Candeias' potential exit speed up the pursuit of Ryan Kent? Picture: SNSCould Daniel Candeias' potential exit speed up the pursuit of Ryan Kent? Picture: SNS
Could Daniel Candeias' potential exit speed up the pursuit of Ryan Kent? Picture: SNS
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According to Wyscout, his Rangers Ibrox team-mate is the only player to have provided more assists in the Scottish Premiership across the last two seasons, and it is the same with crosses.

The Portuguese star's ability to dovetail brought the best out of Tavernier. He is best when he hangs wide and slightly deeper to allow the Rangers captain to charge forward and into the box.

At times his crossing frustrates but he is more than capable of getting the ball out of his feet quickly and whipping a tantalising cross into dangerous areas. He has a fine relationship with Alfredo Morelos, on and off the field, and the Colombian appreciates the qualities of his team-mate to pick him out.

But Candeias is more than a winger, working in tandem with his full-back and crossing. He has much more to his game. His endeavour and willingness to support Tavernier defensively is roundly appreciated by fans, as is that intangible quality of seeming to 'get' what it means to play for the Ibrox side.

One of his most memorable moments in a Rangers jersey came in the Europa League last season. Leading Rapid Vienna 2-1, he chased down his own clearance on the half-way line before playing Morelos through on goal to secure the win with a fabulous backheel.

The feeling, largely, among the Ibrox support would be one of disappointment if he were to depart. The player's qualities with and without the ball are appreciated, and he is seen as a vital squad player.

However, that appears to be the issue. Candeias wants to be more than a squad player.

Gerrard confirmed: "I said I wanted him to stay and fight for the shirt and be part of the squad but he said he wants to go and explore the situation in Turkey so we reluctantly but respectfully granted him permission.

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"He's a good man and been a good servant so he's going to speak to the club in Turkey and we'll see how that one develops.

"I have to respect Daniel and keep a lot of the conversation private but it boils down to him wanting to be a regular starter as in every single game.

"At his age he doesn't want to be part of the squad and fight for the shirt without any guarantees so we have to respect his decision but it was Daniel's decision to explore this interest."

It is understandable in the player's case and certainly not the end of the world for Rangers. He is in the final year of his contract, will turn 32 during next season and could get one last sizeable payday in Turkey.

The Ibrox support would get over the lose very quickly if Ryan Kent was to arrive.

However, it appears the club are no further forward in their pursuit of the Liverpool starlet who impressed on loan last season.

In fact, it will likely be a slow and frustrating process. On the one hand the 22-year-old has been given the No.40 shirt for pre-season matches and faces competition to get in among the first-team squad, let alone the starting XI.

Mo Salah, Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino, Xherdan Shaqiri and Divock Origi are the key attackers but there is space to be part of the team beyond that, with Kent challenging the likes of Rhian Brewster, Harry Wilson and Ben Woodburn.

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He has started both of Liverpool's pre-season matches so far and has been heavily involved in the club's USA training camp.

The Champions League winners face Borussia Dortmund in the early hours of Saturday morning in their first glamour pre-season. If he is still playing a regular role by the time the team come to Edinburgh to face Napoli at BT Murrayfield then Jurgen Klopp may be serious about his involvement going forward.

The German said recently regarding transfers: "We are pretty relaxed in that, we will see what's coming up. It will not be the biggest transfer window of LFC. We invested a lot in the team in the last two years, I would say. We cannot spend every year in the same manner.

"I'm happy with the team, we are really happy. We have to see if we find maybe one position, if we find something for it, but there's no real pressure because it's not about signing a player. We have solutions for all the situations."