Former England team-mate and BBC pundit, Danny Mills, believes that Rangers hold the upper hand in their attempts to persuade Liverpool starlet, Herbie Kane, to make the much travelled move north.
Speaking to Football Insider, Mills feels the familiarity with Rangers coaching staff could be enough to persuade the player to follow fellow Anfield protegés Ryan Kent, Ovie Ejaria and Sheyi Ojo in joining the Ibrox side when the transfer window opens in January.
So what has Mills said?
Mills was asked if Gerrard was the key in Kane and Liverpool making their decision and said:
“It’s not just Steven Gerrard though. McAllister is there, Michael Beale is there, who was one of the main coaches in the Liverpool academy before he went up to Rangers to do a lot of coaching”.
“So Liverpool will know the coaching staff very very well, Gary Mac was captain of Liverpool, Gerrard captain, Beale one of the best coaches they had at Liverpool, that’s what counts”.
“They know what coaching he will get, the style of play that Gerrard wants to play, they’ll know everything.
“The support structure, everything around him and that is what clubs look at. They’re not just looking at minutes, is he going to develop as a player? Is he going to develop as a person? All these things come into it”.
“And as I’ve said the McAllister-Gerrard-Beale connection is absolutely superb, it’s almost like being promoted from Liverpool U-21s to Rangers as it’ll be a set-up he’s very very familiar with and those senior coaches can obviously help him settle in as well”.
So is Mills correct?
Gerrard obviously maintains a close working relationship with Liverpool after his departure in June 2018, he has spoken before of his dealings with Jurgen Klopp and it is no coincidence that Rangers are linked with almost every Melwood graduate looking for a loan spell in senior football.
Mills mentions the familiarity with the coaching staff at Ibrox from, not just the player, but also the management at Liverpool, however, this isn’t where the similarities end.
Gerrard consistently plays a 4-3-3 formation with width coming from the full-backs and wide attackers cutting inside based on a solid/hard working midfield platform, ring any bells?
Not only does this benefit Rangers because loaning players from a similar system reduces the time it takes to adapt but is also gives players on loan the chance to prove their ability in a formation and style of play that they are familiar with.
It doesn’t always work out, Ovie Ejaria struggled with homesickness and the intensity of playing in the Glasgow goldfish bowl and Sheyi Ojo, despite starting well and showing flashes of his potential, appears to be suffering the same fate.
Is the Liverpool-Rangers connection good for Rangers when looking for loan players?
Mills is correct, it is a relationship that is benefiting all parties at present and one that shows no sign of ending whilst the former Anfield skipper remains at the helm of the Ibrox side.