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FROZEN-OUT CELT v GERS £7m NEW BOY: PUNDIT’S VERDICT

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CHRIS SUTTON has compared Rangers’ £7million signing Ryan Kent with Celtic’s frozen-out winger Scott Sinclair.

Steven Gerrard splashed the cash to bring the Liverpool raider back to Ibrox on a four-year deal after his loan success last season.

Over at Parkhead, Sinclair, 30, who cost £4.5million when Brendan Rodgers bought him from Aston Villa in August 2016, has not been able to get into Neil Lennon’s last five match day squads and it appears clear he has no future at the Hoops.

However, former Parkhead striker Sutton, now a media pundit, has made a comparison between the two Englishman as he analyses Gerrard’s move for the 22-year-old flanker.

Sutton, writing in his Daily Record column, said: “Scott Sinclair appears to have no future at Celtic. Europa League squad or not, the winger has been out in the cold.

FORGOTTEN CELT…Scott Sinclair is out on the cold at Parkhead.

“James Forrest, Mikey Johnston, Lewis Morgan are ahead of him. Marian Shved is there and Neil Lennon has brought in Mohammed Elyouanoussi on loan and he cost Southampton £16million last term.

“Sinclair’s chances of getting even a sub outing seem bleak after he had, in the eyes of most folk, a disappointing 2018/19 season.

“Here’s my point to all of this. Sinclair scored 17 goals last season. Ryan Kent scored six.

“If Rangers signing the winger from Liverpool wasn’t down to sheer panic in the wake of the defeat to Celtic last Sunday, then I don’t know what is.

“Kent is a good player. I even suggested at the end of last season that Celtic should try to get him to boost the squad.

“But it seems that, in the eyes of the Rangers supporters, Kent’s signing is a game-changer. The last-ditch transfer window strike which is going to tilt the title odds back in their favour.

“At best, that is optimistic. At worst, it’s bordering on hysterical.”

Sutton added: “I’d imagine he’ll make a positive contribution to Steven Gerrard’s team, but is he going to be the difference in the race for the league flag? I’d doubt it. I can’t see how he is really going to make such a whopping difference.

“Outside of the Old Firm matches, Rangers dropped points in 13 other games in the league last season. Kent played in nine of them.

“When it came to losing the big Cup-ties against Aberdeen in both competitions which denied the club the chance to win any silverware, Kent played in the Betfred Cup semi-final loss at Hampden and the Scottish Cup quarter-final replay defeat at Ibrox.

NEW BOY…Ryan Kent poised to play a big part for Gers after £7million switch.

“Across the city, Forrest was playing in the same position for a Celtic side which was criticised several times for not hitting top gear and he managed to score 22 goals.

“Sinclair grabbed 17 and teenager Johnston got one less than Kent over the whole term with five having made 20 less appearances than the Rangers man.

“I’m also doubting the strategy which brought the signing about. Rangers, of course, will tell you he was always the one they wanted. That’s what clubs say. You can’t blame them. They have to dress it up.

“But if Kent was the one they were always going to get, why sign Jordan Jones? Why sign Sheyo Ojo? Why sign Jake Hastie? Why sign Greg Stewart?

“Mind you, given the fact Gerrard has been allowed to sign about 25 players since he walked in the front door of Ibrox just over a year ago, maybe it shouldn’t be that much of a shock.

“Nonetheless, it makes no sense to me. If that was the strategy all along, then it puzzles me.

“I’m more inclined to think the situation changed dramatically in the wake of the loss to Celtic last Sunday and it was a big outlay designed to appease fans who had just had their hope ripped away.

“Let me put this another way. If Rangers had thumped Celtic 3-0, do you think Kent would have been signed the following day? I might be wrong, but I don’t.”

One of Kent’s best performance fr the Gers came in their 2-1 loss against the champions at Parkhead in March after the team had been reduced to 10 following Alfredo Morelos’ first-half red card.

He nullified Odsonne Edouard’s strike, but James Forrest hot the winner near the end.

Kent, in fact, escaped a sending-off when he was caught on camera punching Hoops skipper Scott Brown on the chin in the immediate aftermath of Celtic’s second goal.

The teams are due to meet again in the east end of Glasgow on December 29. Sparks are certain to fly!

* SCOTZINE has had a new look as the magazine is determined to deliver the up-to-date news, comments, opinions and features Scottish football fans deserve. That’s our promise. Thank you for your support.

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Editor

Acclaimed author Alex Gordon wrote the biography of Scotland international legend Denis Law, entitled 'King and Country'. He is a former columnist with World Soccer magazine and Scottish correspondent of respected European journal L'Equipe.

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