Glasgow Rangers managed to bring Ryan Kent back to Ibrox, but it appears that his summer could have played out differently.
According to a report from the Yorkshire Evening Post, Leeds had agreed a fee with Liverpool to sign Ryan Kent during the summer, but a Jack Harrison performance helped sway Marcelo Bielsa towards thinking that they would be better off signing a striker – and thus, helping pave the way for the winger to ultimately head to Rangers at the start of this month.
Leeds were heavily linked with Kent throughout the summer after his superb year on loan at Ibrox, and it appears that they got close to agreeing a deal with the Reds.
The Yorkshire Evening Post reports that the Championship side agreed a fee that would have initially seen Leeds pay £4 million for the 22-year-old, but that figure would have eventually risen to £7 million.
However, it appears that Leeds’ 3-1 victory away at Bristol City on the opening day had a big impact on Kent’s future, as the Yorkshire Evening Post reports that Harrison’s display left Bielsa feeling happy with his wide options, and they ultimately spent the final hours of the window pursuing a loan deal for Arsenal’s Eddie Nketiah.
Harrison was outstanding at Ashton Gate, scoring the third goal and looking lively throughout. And given that he was one of the biggest revelations of pre-season, it was no surprise that Bielsa took enough confidence from his form to sway towards targeting a striker.
Kent would ultimately leave Liverpool, with Rangers making a deadline day move to take the Englishman back to Ibrox on a permanent basis.
Did Harrison do Leeds a favour?
While Rangers fan are understandably delighted to have Kent back, and there seemed to be plenty of Leeds fans keen to see him arrive at Elland Road, it does appear that the Whites have benefitted from signing Nketiah instead.
Leeds could not afford to let the window close without signing a striker, especially with Kemar Roofe leaving Elland Road for Anderlecht. It would have been a huge gamble given the injury problems that Bielsa’s men endured last year.
And Nketiah has vindicated Leeds’ decision by making an incredibly exciting start to his Leeds career, scoring three goals in five games.
Kent has every chance of being a major success at Rangers. But Leeds appear to have made a smart decision concentrating on signing a new striker as they look to get out of the Championship.