Ryan Kent signing shows Rangers progress, says director of football Mark Allen
Kent joined Rangers from Liverpool on a permanent deal this summer
By Dan Sansom
Last Updated: 06/09/19 2:27pm
The signing of Ryan Kent shows how far Rangers have progressed in recent years, according to the club's director of football Mark Allen.
Kent signed for Rangers from Liverpool in a deal worth up to £7.5m to become the second most expensive player in the club's history.
The 22-year-old returns to Ibrox after a successful loan spell last year in which he won the PFA Scotland Young Player of the Year award, and Allen believes the transfer shows how much the club has developed in recent seasons.
"I think it shows progress and that was where we set out to be when I started a few years ago," Allen told Sky Sports.
"It had to be steady. It bodes well and says a lot about the intent of the directors of Rangers in terms of where they're trying to get the club."
Throughout the summer Rangers made it known that they wished to loan Kent and after Leeds had a final bid of £4.5m rejected the day before the English transfer window shut, manager Steven Gerrard revealed that the winger was his No 1 target.
Kent was keen to leave Liverpool before the close of the European transfer window and although at one stage a move looked unlikely, Allen believes reaching the group stages of the Europa League helped to get the deal over the line.
"I think European qualification helped significantly, I think the directors looked at that," he added.
"We made no secrets of the fact that Ryan was a target, he was a target all summer. We thought the deal had possibly gone but we had a chance to rekindle it and thankfully we did and we got Ryan on board."
Kent, who scored six goals and provided four assists for Rangers last term, was signed the day after the 2-0 defeat to Celtic in the first Old Firm clash of the season.
When asked whether that loss had any bearing on the transfer being completed so close to the deadline in Scotland, Allen replied: "No. We had a board meeting the prior Saturday before which myself and Steven attended.
"We went through the whole squad then in terms of what our targets were in the summer and where we'd got to with those targets, which was quite successful.
"The only one who we hadn't got was Ryan, but it certainly wasn't a reaction to the game."