What Rangers' £7m Ryan Kent signing means for the club's fans, finances, team mates and title race with Celtic

Ryan Kent will be expected to deliver after his 7m move. Picture: SNS
Ryan Kent will be expected to deliver after his 7m move. Picture: SNS
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The Ryan Kent transfer saga was a key storyline of the Scottish market with Rangers finally getting the deal over the line on Monday. Joel Sked looks at what the deal means.

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The player

Back in June Steven Gerrard said: "The key thing that people need to understand is that Ryan has got to want this. It’s alright the fans wanting him, the staff wanting him, myself wanting him. But it’s Ryan’s decision. Ryan has got to want Rangers, he has got to want to come and be successful at Rangers. That is the question Ryan has got to ask himself."

It has been a long two months or so but Kent answered the question, even if it came very late on.

After loans in the English Football League as well as a spell in Germany, Kent found a home in Govan for a year. It was something Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp talked about when he maintained that the player would only be sold. He has to find a settled location.

He has done that by returning to Ibrox. He already has that connection with the fans and experience of the club. There'll be European football and have the demands of a big club. But the most important thing for the player, game time.

The hype and the fee means there will an expectancy and pressure. He will be expected to deliver more than his four league assists and six goals. Double figures for both should be the aim.

The club

It is quite the statement by Rangers. Kent is the second-most expensive player in the club's history.

This, more than any other transfer, shows that they can compete in the transfer market and attract big players to Ibrox.

In the shorter term it provided the perfect boost to the Old Firm defeat on Sunday.

READ MORE: Ryan Kent 'never lost hope' that he'd get another crack at 'unfinished business' with Rangers

The finances

While Rangers won't pay the £7million straight away - with just £2million up front - it has taken the investment in the transfer window to around £13million.

There is an aspect of speculate to accumulate and it is something Dave King has talked about before, the club losing money to get back into Europe and topple Celtic which will then make them money.

What it has done is put pressure on the club to reach the Europa League group stages at the very least consistently with the financial boosts that provides, albeit meagre compared to the Champions League.

The manager

Following on from the finance aspect, Steven Gerrard has been backed by the board in two summer transfer windows and they will require tangible and cash reward sooner rather than later.

The Liverpool legend has improved the club on the field, without a doubt. But at a club like Rangers mere improvement isn't enough after a certain period of time. Sooner or later there is the pressure to deliver.

Especially after the meek defeat to Celtic there will be pressure. It is something Gerrard has had to deal with all his footballing life.

A £7million signing, his priority, is both a present from the hierarchy but also a message.

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The fans

The tweet announcing Ryan Kent's signing has been retweeted more than 8,000 times. Half of those came in the first minute. It was midnight.

That's how anxious fans were for the signing to be made. After it had been mooted on transfer deadline day the Rangers support spent their day refreshing their news and twitter feeds waiting for the announcement.

It was met with widespread delight and a bit of relief, it was finally over the line.

The club teased it then provided plenty of social media content in the aftermath which went down well and was lapped up by the support.

However, fans have already seen the result of such a signing. They have been asked to pay 99p to watch the player's first interview with the club, which was then followed by the increase in the cost of watching the team in the Europa League.

For season-ticket holders it will be £111 for the three group games, £39 more than their Celtic counter-parts. The three-game package rises to £123 for the general sale.

That being said, fans were not being forced to pay 99p to watch the interview and if the team is winning fans generally aren't so affronted by his ticket prices.

READ MORE: How each Scottish Premiership club rated out of 10 in the transfer window - did Rangers do the best business, do Hibs still need more and was it better late than never for Celtic?

The team

The main thing in the eyes of the fans and manager is that Kent's return improves the the squad, the team, the starting XI.

If the player arrived before the Old Firm clash there is little chance Gerrard would have set up in such a narrow system. Kent would have provided a wider option and tested a back four which had a midfielder and three Old Firm debutants.

The 22-year-old provides a bit of versatility in that he can play wide, hug the touchline before jinking in field, or pick up more central positions if the manager wants a more narrow system.

He has fired to the front of the queue in terms of the one of the two positions behind the striker.

Jordan Jones and Sheyi Ojo provide qualities which Kent possesses. The directness, the quick-feet, the vision, the drop of the shoulder, the confidence to take players on. But he has proven he can do it for Rangers.

It also limits the role of players like Greg Stewart who could find himself out on loan in January.

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