Gerrard reacts to Ejaria decision, believes Rangers' Liverpool link still strong

head coach Steven Gerrard of Rangers during the UEFA Europa League match between SK Rapid Wien v Rangers at Weststadion on December 13, 2018 in Vienna, Austria.

Rangers loanee Ovie Ejaria has decided to leave Ibrox.

head coach Steven Gerrard of Rangers during the UEFA Europa League match between SK Rapid Wien v Rangers at Weststadion on December 13, 2018 in Vienna, Austria.

Rangers boss Steven Gerrard has told the Glasgow Evening Times that he doesn't think Ovie Ejaria has made the right decision in leaving Ibrox.

The Gers landed Ejaria on a season-long loan deal from Liverpool over the summer, and were looking to give him a fresh start after a dismal stint with Sunderland earlier this year.

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The 21-year-old started well with the Gers and played an important role early in the season, but stories have emerged of late about his timekeeping and his general happiness at Ibrox.

 

Ejaria didn't make the trip to Austria to take on Rapid Vienna on Thursday, and Gerrard confirmed that talks were imminent about his future, before Rangers and Liverpool confirmed on Saturday that the loan deal had been terminated.

Ejaria seemingly wanted to go back to Anfield and felt that his time in Glasgow was over, but it would be little surprise to see him head out on loan again elsewhere next month.

Gerrard has now offered his first reaction to Ejaria's exit, suggesting that the playmaker he signed from his former club has made the wrong decision in giving up such a huge opportunity to play regularly for Rangers.

Ovie Ejaria of Rangers controls the ball during the UEFA Europa League Group G match between Rangers and Spartak Moscow at Ibrox Stadium on October 25, 2018 in Glasgow, United Kingdom.

Gerrard eased fears that the club's relationship with Liverpool could be dented in terms of future signings, noting that Ejaria played regularly and Ryan Kent is also flourishing in Glasgow.

"Am I disappointed he's gone? Yes. Do I think it's the right decision? No, because I think he had an incredible opportunity here," said Gerrard. But I'm never going to stand in a player's way who is not happy and who is not settled because I have people who are desperate to wear the shirt and who would run through brick walls to wear it. It is what it is. I have to accept the decision. I'm sad about it, I wish him all the best. He's a nice kid, very quiet. He told me it was 100 per cent football reasons and I have to respect that."

"I don't there will be a problem, no. That's because we've just sent one player back who's played 25 times, 11 times in Europe, who wore the number 10 for Glasgow Rangers on front of 51,000 people. We've got another Liverpool player here who has played probably around 20 times, who has reignited his career after two bad loans. He's doing unbelievably well and I want him fit as soon as possible. He's having the time of his life. Kids are different, characters are different. I have to accept that," he added.

Ryan Kent of Rangers takes a shot at goal during the Betfred Scottish League Cup Semi Final between Aberdeen and Rangers at Hampden Park on October 28, 2018 in Glasgow, Scotland.

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