OPINION: Rangers flop’s stunning turnaround must leave boss Steven Gerrard bemused
If anyone was to compile a list of Rangers’ least effective signings during Steven Gerrard’s managerial tenure so far, the name of Umar Sadiq would probably be at the top.
The Nigerian striker arrived on loan from Roma in the summer of 2018 with no little fanfare but managed just four first-team appearances, three of them brief outings as a substitute, before his deal was cut short
The memory of Sadiq’s only start for Rangers will still send shudders down the spine of the Ibrox support, if not Gerrard himself.
In the absence of the suspended Alfredo Morelos,Sadiq was thrown into the League Cup semi-final against Aberdeen at Hampden.
As Gerrard’s first tilt at domestic silverware in Scotland ended in a tame 1-0 defeat, the big striker’s comically brazen attempt to win a late penalty kick, when it looked easier to run on and claim an equaliser, sealed a miserable afternoon for Rangers.
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So goodness only knows what Gerrard must make of Sadiq’s progress since he joined Partizan Belgrade, initially on loan, last summer.
The 23-year-old has become an idol at the Serbian club where he is top scorer this season with 17 goals, prompting them to pay Roma £1.5 million to make his stay permanent.
Last Wednesday night, Sadiq played a crucial role with a sublime assist for the only goal of the Serbian Cup semi-final against Belgrade rivals Red Star.
He is now even being linked with Manchester United. A penny for Gerrard’s thoughts if that move ever comes off.