Ex-Rangers striker Kris Boyd believes doubts over the futures of some Rangers stars may well be affecting the club’s performances on the pitch.
Writing in his column for the Scottish Sun, Boyd said he is concerned that players such as Connor Goldson, Glen Kamara, Borna Barisic, Joe Aribo, Ryan Kent and Alfredo Morelos may not be 100% focused on the job at hand:
“What is happening with the Connor Goldson and Glen Kamara contract situations? Only a few weeks ago, the manager made it clear he wanted Goldson to stay, and that a terrific offer was on the table for Kamara and the ball was in his court. There were also reports in the foreign media linking Joe Aribo and Borna Barisic with moves away on deadline day Throw in the fact Ryan Kent has been linked with big-money moves in the past – and the non-stop speculation that surrounds Alfredo Morelos – and you wonder if it is all having a cumulative effect.”
“From my own experience, having any uncertainty when it comes to your main men is not the healthiest environment. Last season there was a real stability in the Rangers team and that doesn’t appear to be the case so far this term. I’m not for one second claiming guys like Goldson and Kamara are agitating to quit the club. The pair of them have been model professionals since moving to Ibrox. And I’m not seeing people shirking their responsibilities or jumping out of tackles, either. But I see that maybe people have other things on their mind and as a collective it is not clicking. Like a lot of sports, football can be about marginal gains and if one or two guys are a couple of percent off then it can have a huge effect.”
Boyd makes it clear that he isn’t questioning the commitment of these players but there is no doubt that the squad is nowhere near as settled as last season.
Goldson can speak to foreign clubs in January about moving on a free transfer in the summer, with West Ham reportedly circling. Kamara continues to stall on signing a new deal, with Arsenal, Everton and Watford having all kept tabs on his situation.
There are less concrete links for Barisic, Aribo and Kent, with the latter now unlikely to join Leeds after their decision to snap up Daniel James before the transfer window closed. Morelos continues to flirt with a move away from Ibrox, although that has been the case for a while, and it hasn’t really affected his form.
All in all, it is a difficult situation for manager Steven Gerrard to handle and we will find out over the coming months if Boyd’s concerns are legitimate.