Last Spring saw Northern Ireland striker Kyle Lafferty start discussing his next career move. His time at Norwich City was up and a free transfer loomed. One option that continued to be raised was the possibility to return to Rangers.
The striker had spent four years at the club, scoring 38 goals in 138 games for a club he somewhat supported as a boy.
But, amid the financial turmoil of 2012, he was one of the Rangers players to leave – joining Swiss side FC Sion.
But he maintained a love for Rangers and, last April, told the Daily Record:
“The longer you stay at a club like Rangers the better you adapt and although it didn’t end the way I would have liked, I still have a lot of great memories and I would like to go back and play for Rangers again one day.”
It was a rumour that then rumbled on throughout the summer. This was, indirectly at least, a come-and-get-me plea. But for whatever reason Lafferty was not targeted by Rangers. Perhaps manager Pedro Caixinha did not want him or it could have been a decision from elsewhere in the club. However, Rangers did not attempt to lure Lafferty back to Ibrox.
So instead of Glasgow, the forward headed to Edinburgh. Judging by his form this season, Rangers will wish they had tried a reunion.
Lafferty had a great season at Tynecastle. He scored 19 goals in 41 appearances for the club including one against Old Firm foes Celtic in a 4-0 thrashing.
Rangers fans loved that moment but realising they could have easily signed a striker who outscored both Alfredo Morelos and Josh Windass will be a bitter pill to swallow.
Rangers never missed out on this Ibrox transfer, they simply never made the move. It was a mistake not to do so – whoever was at fault.
Lafferty would have added goals, swagger and joy to a fairly disjointed Rangers side. As it is, Hearts get to enjoy him for at least one more season.