Chris Sutton believes Rangers’ purchase of Ryan Kent was a panic buy and that suggestions he will make his new side favourites for the Scottish Premiership are “hysterical”.
After a positive loan spell at Ibrox last season, Rangers chased a reunion with Kent all summer, with the winger even quoting the Bible in an effort to force a permanent move away from Liverpool.
In a deal worth an initial £6.5m, Steven Gerrard finally got his man on the last day of the European transfer window – the day after Rangers had lost to rivals Celtic in the first Old Firm game of the season.
And former Celtic striker Sutton, despite admiring Kent’s qualities, believes the distance between the two clubs is too great for the 22-year-old to make a difference in the title race.
“If Rangers signing the winger from Liverpool wasn’t down to sheer panic in the wake of the defeat to Celtic last Sunday, then I don’t know what is,” he told the Daily Record.
“Kent is a good player. I even suggested at the end of last season that Celtic should try to get him to boost the squad.
“But it seems that, in the eyes of the Rangers supporters, Kent’s signing is a game changer. The last-ditch transfer window strike which is going to tilt the title odds back in their favour.
“At best, that is optimistic. At worst, it’s bordering on hysterical.
“I’ve no axe to grind with Kent. He’s got talent and did well in the games against Celtic last season when he was on loan.
“He tortured Mikael Lustig in one and scored in another. But that Parkhead strike was his only one in the last four months of the season.
“I’d imagine he’ll make a positive contribution to Steven Gerrard’s team, but is he going to be the difference in the race for the league flag? I’d doubt it.
“I can’t see how he is really going to make such a whopping difference.
“Outside of the Old Firm matches, Rangers dropped points in 13 other games in the league last season. Kent played in nine of them.
“I’m not picking on the lad, I’m just pointing out the facts he was as much to blame as anyone else around the place last season for the failings which resulted in the club winning nothing. Somehow, though, there is no way this time around that’s going to happen again.”