Rangers made a major statement on the final day of the transfer window when it was announced that they had signed Ryan Kent on a permanent deal.
BBC Sport reported that the Gers spent £7 million to sign the winger from Liverpool. He was outstanding for much of his season-long loan at Ibrox last season. But the fee has put plenty of pressure on the 22-year-old.
Steven Gerrard will be looking to do everything he can to make sure that Kent is able to live up to that fee. And that may perhaps include taking his time when it comes to introducing him back into the side.
While Kent was involved in the Reds’ pre-season plans this summer, he arrived at Ibrox having spent the final weeks of his spell on Merseyside on the sidelines.
The international break will help Kent get closer to being ready to hit the ground running. But it would be no surprise if Gerrard wanted to be cautious and get him into the team gradually.
However, given the fixture that Rangers have ahead next week, perhaps Gerrard has no choice but to use Kent this weekend when the Gers host Livingston.
Rangers have been handed an incredibly difficult Europa League group. Feyenoord, Young Boys and Porto are all standing between the Light Blues and the knockout stages.
Feyenoord are up first, with the Eredivisie side travelling to Ibrox next Thursday. And it would be a huge boost for Rangers if they could get off to a flyer – just as they did away at Villarreal last year.
Perfect time for Kent to prove a point
Kent is, clearly, the kind of player who could make a massive difference against Jaap Stam’s men. His previous Old Firm performances show that he is one of the players who can make something happen from nothing.
Kent may struggle to produce a game-changing display against such tough opposition however, if he is still yet to make his debut by the time Thursday rolls around.
Livi could provide the perfect first test for the winger. They have made a good start to the new season, and will not be easy to brush aside.
That fixture should allow Kent to rediscover some of that sharpness ahead of Thursday.
The £7 million fee immediately established Kent as Rangers’ talisman. He is the player that Gerrard needs the biggest performance from on the biggest occasions.
And it is perhaps by handing him his second debut this weekend that Gerrard can boost Kent’s chances of producing that outstanding display his side may need next week.