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.
Rangers fans react to news Andy Halliday and Jason Holt will be leaving
Steven Gerrard has informed Rangers pair they can leave Glasgow as he continues Ibrox revamp.
It appears Rangers are ready to let two of their more experienced players go this summer, according to reports in Scotland this week. The Scottish Sun is reporting that new Rangers boss Steven Gerrard has informed both Andy Halliday and Jason Holt that they can leave the club this summer.
Both players were signed by former Gers boss Mark Warburton. Halliday, a lifelong Rangers fan, joined the club on a free transfer from Bradford in 2015 and helped the side win promotion to the Premiership in his first season at the club.
His career at Ibrox has not been uneventful, with a now infamous bust-up with Joey Barton and a loan spell in Azerbaijan with Gabala after falling foul of Pedro Caixinha.
Holt arrived from Hearts following a successful loan spell with Sheffield United in the same summer. He also played a crucial role in the club’s promotion back to the top-flight.
However, what has become clear in recent months, is that the duo are not good enough for Rangers if they want to catch Old Firm rivals Celtic.
The pair are limited in terms of their ability and, simply put, they are not good enough to take Rangers back to the top of Scottish football.
With that in mind, Gerrard would rather clear them off the Ibrox wage-bill and bring in some fresh faces to Glasgow.
One thing that cannot be doubted however is the pair’s commitment. Both always gave their all for the badge and, for that, Rangers fans will always show their appreciation. No doubt the Ibrox faithful will wish them all the best in their next move…
Not bothered about Halliday and Holt leaving because both of them are not good enough but I hope Wallace stays https://t.co/0m1V86sdk3
— Rangers Forever (@WATPForever) June 13, 2018
Halliday & Holt ???
— Chloe (@chloerossxxx) June 14, 2018
Feel sorry for holt and halliday as I honestly thought they gave their all in every game they played, but sometimes their all just isn’t what rangers need, we require better, and I genuinely wish them all the best if they move on, right decision for all,
— John Belton (@johnbelton1) June 14, 2018
I think its refreshing that we’re clearing out mediocre players who didn’t perform. Cummings goes in the same “not quite good enough” category as Holt and Halliday for me. We need a striker, McBurnie would be a great signing, but let’s not just sign someone for the sake of it.
— Paul Butler (@PB_IDL_Darts) June 14, 2018
Neither ultimately good enough but can’t fault either. Halliday gave everything but doesn’t have the quality and Holt has proved himself to be a terrific professional any time he has stepped in to the team. Good luck to both. https://t.co/mZZlep7N7w
— Andy McKellar (@AMcKellar89) June 14, 2018
Thank God. Holt and Halliday free to go. Moh almost away. Wallace to speak to Gerrard on Friday
— Blair Gorman (@Blairgorman86) June 14, 2018
Good luck to Jason holt and Andy Halliday thanks for everything lads ????????????????
— british and proud (@dempster_gary) June 14, 2018
Why are so many fans upset holt and Halliday are leaving ? 2 seasons in a row complete failures get them out there not good enough never where good enough
— Rab mcclymont (@mcc_rab) June 13, 2018
You just know Holt to Hearts, Halliday to Livingston, both to score winners against Rangers is set in stone
— Liam McNaughton (@LiamMcNaughton) June 13, 2018
I’ve nothing personal against Halliday and Holt but they are just not good enough. They have to go this summer. No ifs, buts, maybes or more chances. This should be the end of the road for them at Rangers, simply has to be. We need far better to compete.
— Kirsten (@kirsten93_) June 13, 2018
If rumours r true re: Andy Halliday & Jason Holt leaving,I’d just like 2 wish both all the best for the future,2 very committed,dedicated & passionate players we’ve had over the last 2yrs or so,Halliday especially impressed me when he was sent on loan,then came bk! ????
— Richard Ewings (@EwingsRichard) June 13, 2018
Jason Holt and Andy Halliday appreciation tweet.
If rumours of them leaving are true then I’m sure they leave with the best wishes.
— Marty (@Marty3007) June 13, 2018
Rangers round-up: Goldson done, Dodoo leaves and Skrtel back on?
the latest news and gossip from Ibrox as Rangers bring a new player to Glasgow.
Rangers have completed the signing of Brighton and Hove Albion defender Connor Goldson. The Ibrox side have signed the 25-year-old to strengthen their defensive resolve and he joins on a four-year deal.
He played just eight games last season after recovering from preventative heart surgery in February 2017.
The centre-back joins for a fee reported by the Shropshire Star to be in the region of £3 million, with Shrewsbury Town set to receive a six-figure fee as part of the deal.
Joe Dodoo will not be a part of Rangers’ plans next season, as he leaves on loan. The 22-year-old joined Rangers back in 2016 after impressing with his former club Leicester City.
The speedy attacker scored five goals in just 27 games as he struggled to make an impact in Glasgow.
He will now spend next season on loan at Blackpool in League One, with the club hoping to push for promotion.
Skrtel back on?
It seems as though Martin Skrtel could still end up at Rangers this summer. The former Liverpool player was targeted by his ex-teammate and new Rangers boss Steven Gerrard earlier this summer.
No deal ever came about, but it is now being reported that he could be involved in a move to Ibrox, if Alfredo Morelos heads the other way.
Yeni Akit claims that the Istanbul club wants the Colombian striker this summer. The report suggests that Skrtel would be used as a makeweight in any deal for the Rangers striker this summer.
Jurgen Klopp is a big fan of impending Rangers newbie Ovie Ejaria
Rangers are set to bring Ovie Ejaria to Glasgow to work under Steven Gerrard at Ibrox.
It looks as though Rangers are about to use Steven Gerrard’s connections at former club Liverpool for the first time. Ovie Ejaria looks all set to join the Glasgow club on loan this week. The 20-year-old will head to Ibrox in a bid to further improve his development under the guidance of a Liverpool legend.
Rangers fans should be pretty excited. A quick look at his loan spell with Sunderland last year and fans will scoff. He only won one of the games he featured in for the Black Cats. But he was, in fact, one of their better players in the second half of the campaign.
Chris Coleman was a huge fan, as is Jurgen Klopp.
The Liverpool manager handed Ejaria his debut in September 2016, bringing him on for Roberto Firmino on the EFL Cup win over Derby County.
It came after the midfielder had impressed Klopp at Melwood and at a training camp in Tenerife. The German was impressed by his bullish nature, telling the Liverpool Echo:
“We saw Ovie in a game here at Melwood one afternoon.
“We thought he was seriously injured as he couldn’t walk but then the next day it was nothing – like it is with kids sometimes.
“Then we had the training camp in Tenerife last season and Ovie made a big impression, I thought: ‘Oh my God, he could be ready.”
That sort of impressive performance is exactly what Rangers will want to see from Ejaria. A strong midfield dynamo, fans at Ibrox will no doubt be impressed by his bravery in midfield.
Not just in terms of his ability to get stuck into a tackle, but the incoming Rangers newbie is also happy to take risks in the middle of the park in order to retain possession.
No doubt, when Ejaria gets a chance in the Old Firm derby, he will give Scott Brown a game to remember. Rangers may be bringing in a 20-year-old, but as Klopp has previously alluded to he is mature beyond his years. Ibrox could be about to welcome a new hero to the mix.
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