When discussing the prospect of Rangers rescuing Darren Bent from the free agent market, it is difficult not to think back to the summer of 2016.
With Mark Warburton as manager and Frank McParland as director of football, the Glasgow giants signed a number of experienced old pros on big contracts. Soon after, however, ‘experienced old pros’ became over-the-hill has-beens, a perceived drain on Rangers’ resources.
Joey Barton, Niko Kranjcar, Philippe Senderos and Matt Gilks arrived with big reputations and plenty of Premier League experience on their CV. But not a single one managed to make a lasting impression at Ibrox, particularly Barton, who was shown the door after just five games.
Plenty of cynics have downplayed the quality of Scottish football over the years but the pace and phyiscal nature of the game north of the border means a 30-something newcomer is far from guaranteed to be a success.
So Rangers’ 2018 pairing, Steven Gerrard and Mark Allen, would do well to remember this as 34-year-old Bent angles for a move to Ibrox.
The former England striker, who was released by Derby County in the summer, told talkSPORT this week that he would jump at the chance of continuing his career north of the border.
But Bent, like Barton, Kranjcar and co, has his best years behind him and was last seen being relegated to League One during a loan spell at Burton Albion. Offering him a contract would seem like a step back from a club who have pushed on impressively since Gerrard’s arrival.