As I write this piece, we are a couple of games into the new 2023/24 season. A fresh Rangers team, put together by Michael Beale over the summer signifies a new dawn for the club. You can’t help but look at the team sheets and be excited with the new attacking lineup. However, a familiar name popped up. A name we see intermittently and sadly a name we saw less as the seasons went on. That name is Kemar Roofe.
“He would be great if he was fit”
Something I’m sure not just myself has uttered at many an RSC, in many a group chat or at a game. However, we all know this is true.
Sadly though this is something we as Rangers fans are uttering every season as glimpses of Roofe are as rare as hens teeth.
If you were to ask any Rangers fan what type of player Roofe is, you would be told ‘an injured one’.
Back in 2020, the world was in a very weird place. Grey skies formed, and everyone was locked indoors and couldn’t see loved ones. Also, The Other Mob™️ were rubbing their hands at the prospect of Terry Munro (10-in-a-row for those who don’t speak shellic). That explains why grey skies were forming I guess… We needed a huge push to try and win a title we hadn’t won in a decade and if we are being honest, never really looked like winning. They essentially had one hand on THAT trophy that they had longed for.
Rangers brought in some decent players that summer, some we hadn’t really heard of like Calvin Bassey from Leicester for a development fee of around £200k. Rangers operated secretly with their transfer dealings. They did that very well, so it was like a big surprise when you got a Twitter notification telling you someone had signed.
When it came to transfer business under Gerrard we never really had any leaks. However, on the 4th of August 2020, the photo pictured below appeared online.
There had been a rumour circulating throughout the day just before this pic appeared and it did feel like it was fantasy. Nothing to suggest this was happening. I knew of Roofe. I liked him when he was at Leeds. He was a decent striker that oozed talent. Strong centre forward with an air of prolificness about him. He was a £7,000,000 rated player though. We were never getting a player like that. Or so I thought.
We meant business. Especially when Cedric Itten was announced on the same day too. That didn’t just send Rangers fans into overdrive, but the Sevco bloggers like ‘Ill Phil’ who only days before said we were ‘skint’. Mind you he always says that…
Now Roofe had always been a fairly consistent striker. During his time with Leeds in 17/18, he scored 11 Goals in 36 games and 14 goals in 32 games in 18/19. With also an appearance and a goal in the play-offs that season. He wasn’t quite the 30-goal-a-season striker we all dream of, however, a ready-made striker like that would cost a heck of a lot more. At Anderlecht he only managed 13 appearances, however managed to bag 6 goals in that time which is great going. The only reason he didn’t feature more was due to injuries. Yes, that word that makes every Rangers fan shudder. Injuries.
While at Leeds in 2018/19 he missed 35 days due to a calf injury. It happens. In 2019/20 he missed 56 days with an ankle injury. Not great but could be worse. Then not long after returning, Roofe missed 171 days with his calf again. Bit of an alarm bell, however, that’s what medicals are for. Roofe didn’t fail so as far as we are concerned, all good.
With the signing of Roofe, a proper ‘up top’ striker. That meant only 1 thing. Morelos was offski. Morelos was of course scoring for fun in Europe and had attracted some attention. Rumours were circulating that Lille were interested. They even held talks with Rangers, however at the time it was claimed that no bid was made.
Then articles appeared, like the one pictured here from Sky Sports News stating that ‘Morelos agrees terms with Lille’ as Victor Osimhen had agreed to sign with Napoli for an estimated €81,300,000 making him the most expensive African player of all time.
Big boots for Morelos to fill. Can see why he was targeted as a replacement. Prolific in Europe and they would make a healthy profit from the sale and have plenty of change.
Now lots of Sevco bloggers claimed there was never a bid for Morelos. This felt substantiated when Morelos didn’t go anywhere in that Covid-riddled summer of 2020. However, they were of course wrong. As they always generally are. According to an interview that Lille president Gerard Lopez gave to talkSPORT, towards the end of August 2020, they were indeed looking at Morelos. Lopez told talkSPORT presenter and fellow bluenose Jim White: “We have (bid £16m). He’s obviously a good player”.