What is more important? Most fans will agree that Ryan Kent is a more gifted footballer than Fashion Sakala, but how much does that matter when the numbers aren’t being produced? Since the OF game at the start of January, Ryan Kent has 3 goal contributions in 14 games and in the same time frame Sakala has 9. As previously stated, one is considered more talented but he isn’t the one providing the numbers.
Fashion Sakala is undoubtedly one of the most frustrating players Rangers fans have had to watch in recent memory, capable of scoring incredible goals such as the one away to Dundee United one minute, then falling over himself the next. Concentration and decision making are his main flaws, he doesn’t always pass/shoot at the right moment and there are times when he’s dribbling it’s apparent he has no idea what his next move is.
That’s where Rangers are though, if he had all that together he simply wouldn’t be at Ibrox, the combination of Sakala’s numbers and Kent’s talent are that of a player who would be playing at a much higher level than the SPFL. It’s easy to understand the frustration with him, how can he go from showing top level technique and composure to, literally, seconds later looking like he’s Bambi on ice?
Enough of the frustration, let’s look at the actual numbers;
14 goal contributions in 20 SPFL appearances (15 starts) is incredibly impressive and, as you can see, he contributes to a goal every 87 minutes played. This is where it becomes obvious that if he was more polished he would nowhere near Scottish football, these numbers come from a player who, at times, looks like he’s never seen a football before.
Sometimes it seems logic just doesn’t come into it with him but it always comes down to the numbers, the numbers are what get the results, all the talent in the world could be available, but if the talent isn’t providing the numbers then you won’t get results.
Rangers need Fashion Sakala, or at least someone like him. Someone always willing to do the running, someone who can make chances and someone who can convert them. Of course, he’s not always going to get it right, as seen by the fact he’s performing under his xG, some may even argue he gets it wrong more often than not, but he is the one providing the numbers. Rangers would be in a much worse position without him this season.
Is he the permanent solution? No, definitely not. More quality is needed for that position, but that quality also has to provide numbers, hopefully Rangers can get someone who can provide both but that doesn’t mean they should just get rid of Sakala.
His ceiling at the club should be as an impact sub and in that role could probably still provide 10 goal contributions a season, a key role player is where his importance should lie but what he has provided this season shouldn’t be underappreciated. He is the option now, but shouldn’t be for the future.