Ryan Kent has signed for Turkish Cup champions Fenerbahce on a four-year contract after leaving Rangers as a free agent. The move to the Turkish giants had been rumoured for a number of months and the 26-year-old was also linked with Burnley and Leeds.
Speaking after his move to Turkey, Kent said: “Hello Fenerbahce fans, this is Ryan Kent. Firstly, I would like to congratulate everyone associated with the club for winning the cup. It’s an honour to be joining Fenerbahce. After speaking with the club, I’m aware of the visions and targets for next season and I look forward to helping my team achieve those goals, starting with the super cup next month. I’m excited to start pre-season to meet my team-mates and you fans. Take care.”
The former Liverpool youngster had a disappointing final season at Ibrox and was hooked off at halftime in the Scottish Cup semi-final against Celtic, which ultimately turned out to be his last game for the Light Blues. It was a sad way for Kent to end his Rangers career, considering how popular the Englishman was amongst the Rangers faithful. Kent spent five years at Ibrox, where he was on loan for his first spell, then joined the club on a permanent basis on deadline day in 2019 for a fee of £6.5 million from Liverpool.
The flamboyant winger had a successful time playing in Glasgow, winning the Scottish Premiership, Scottish Cup and reaching the Europa League Final. He provided many iconic moments – most notably his screamer at Celtic Park in the 2019/2020 season and his dazzling display in the 4-2 victory against Borussia Dortmund away from home in the Europa League. Kent received high praise from Champions League winner Owen Hargreaves after his performance against Dortmund, stating: “Ryan Kent terrorised Dortmund like Franck Ribery.”
The former Barnsley loanee wasn’t shy of controversy as well when he had an altercation with former Celtic skipper Scott Brown, who he punched to the ground. Kent was later charged by the Scottish FA and received a two-match ban. What will Kent’s legacy at Rangers be, and did he live up to the big transfer fee that was paid for him? Despite it ending in a whimper, I believe he lived up to the price tag and was a good investment for the Ibrox club. 33 goals, 56 assists in 218 appearances and was in the Europa League 2021/2022 Team of the Season.
There’s more to Kent than goals and assists. His work rate off the ball is exceptional, even if he isn’t having the best game. He played an instrumental part in Rangers reaching the Europa League final and was inches away from getting his own statue outside of Ibrox, coming close with a chance in the second half of extra time against Frankfurt. Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp praised Kent’s performance in the Europa League final, saying: “Ryan had sensational moments in the Sevilla game – one-on-one situations are his big strength. He is a wonderful kid, a wonderful player.”
Rangers should’ve cashed in on Kent last season and it was total mismanagement from former Director of Football Ross Wilson how a player of Kent’s quality left for nothing. Many Rangers supporters were surprised he made the switch to Turkey and believed he would’ve ended up in the Premier League. Kent will be looking to get his career back on track and will no doubt be a success for the Yellow Canaries.
By: Scott Bradley / @ScottBradleyX
Featured Image: @GabFoligno / Craig Williamson – SNS Group