Breakups are rarely fun.
Ryan Kent’s 15-year relationship with Liverpool FC finally ended last week with a £7.5m transfer to Steven Gerrard’s Rangers. The whole affair came to a close in a manner that was both abrupt and all too drawn out, with the Liverpool academy product having to cancel a flight on his way to sign a contract with another club at the last minute after spending the previous the past year angling for a permanent move to Glasgow.
Now having secured the move he had long desired, the 22-year-old did not mince words regarding his displeasure at how his boyhood club handled the transfer, seeming to imply that it had not been conducted in good faith:
“It was very tough,” Kent told a press conference on his feelings throughout the ordeal. “I had to stay mentally strong.
“When you are told you can do one thing and then you are lied to and it doesn’t happen, that is quite hard to take.
“I just had to keep myself fit and train on my own and make sure I keep my fitness levels up and I was waiting for a moment like this to arrive.”
It was all rather tumultuous, in truth, with the winger having spent the summer in that dreaded young player’s limbo of fleeting first team hopes, speculation around temporary or permanent moves and the dreaded spectre of a season in the under-23s squad, all while Liverpool patiently waited for an offer the met their full valuation of the player.
“There’s no bitter taste,” the youngster continued in seeming contradiction to his previous bitter sounding statement. “The thing that I wanted from the start happened at the end so I am just happy with that.
”There were probably some slight concerns along the way when I thought this might not happen and I might have to plan for something else but I always had a feeling that it might go to the last day of the window and that’s what happened.”
Kent never truly had a shot at breaking into the first team at Liverpool. Nevertheless, the club’s newfound cutthroat efficiency in the transfer market still allowed them to extract maximum value in a summer that ended with an impressive £53.2m in sales of purely fringe players. So while the headstrong young Kent may have taken umbrage with the business side of the sport, one hopes, like some of his older, more experienced peers, that he’ll come to find the silver lining in the end.