Ryan Kent is undoubtedly one of the most talented players at the club, so why are fans split on whether to keep him or not? The answer is simple, for all the talent he has he just can’t seem to convert it into numbers.
The most basic breakdown needed is the fact that Fashion Sakala current has seven goals and seven assists in 22 SPFL appearances where as Kent has three goals and eight assists in 29 SPFL appearances. Sakala has three more goal contributions in seven less appearances and at that point the difference in footballing ability between the two is forgotten about.
Is Sakala capable of putting on a performance similar to Kent away in Dortmund? That is very much doubtful but the fact is, as of today, Sakala is more reliable in helping Rangers get goals and therefore wins.
Kent, at times, is capable of going and beating three or four opponents off the dribble but more often than not these days, he either is not releasing the ball at the right time or is choosing the wrong option. This was more apparent than ever at the weekend and is the reason he is still at Rangers when many thought he could make it all the way to the highest level.
The above image from the game sums up the lack of cutting edge and poor decision making from Kent. It’s clear for anyone with eyes that Morelos is in acres of space with the chance to be one on one with Hart but Kent doesn’t play the pass here and it wasn’t the only time in the game he made a poor decision.
A breakaway in the second half when he drove forward with the ball and had the perfect chance to have a shot at goal and instead played Morelos in wide. Then after Morelos gave him it back he decided not to shoot AGAIN and what looked like a promising break away turned into nothing. The lack of willingness to take a shot is why Kent lacks the goals most would expect of him. Sure, he isn’t a clinical finisher but a lot of the time he would rather pass it off to someone else than have an attempt of his own.
This season in the SPFL he has had 60 shots at goal, scoring three and giving him a 5% conversion rate. Sakala on the other hand has scored seven goals from 69 attempts, making his conversion rate 10%. Again, I reiterate, there is a clear difference in levels in their footballing ability and that what makes Kent’s lack of goals so concerning.
Considering he’ll be 27 next season, it seems unlikely that Kent will change his game too much. His assist numbers are good and he does create a lot with his ball carrying ability but he still needs to provide more of a goal scoring threat.
How concerning do you find his lack of goals and does that impact your decision on whether he should get a new contract?