Gerrard thrilled at Rangers sealing deal worth £10m+ in fee & wages - Sources
In just a few seconds of action, Kemar Roofe leapfrogged from a frustrating and peripheral Rangers figure to a bona fide terrace hero.
He did not just virtually nail down the goal-of-the-season award with a halfway-line stunner that Steven Gerrard, no less, dubbed the “best I’ve seen live”.
But the forward also ensured the momentum of last weekend’s 2-0 win at Celtic has not slipped away and showed Rangers and their increasingly excited fans how, in this historic stop-10-in-a-row-at-all-costs, anything really is possible.
Roofe’s wonder goal in Liege was not especially vital, as three Europa League points were almost in the bag.
Yet, it guaranteed him a place in the hearts of the Ibrox faithful and will give him time as well as a monumental confidence boost.
Tellingly, Gerrard spoke at his media conference on Friday morning about what a coup it was to get Roofe through the door in August.
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“I watched Kemar at Oxford and Leeds and it was a real big coup for the club getting him in the door,” he said, as quoted by the Rangers Twitter account. “People will talk about that goal for a long time and rightfully so but for me, it is all about getting him back up to 100% fitness and to keep producing the goods.
“We went for him for a reason as we believe at his best he can contribute to this team with goals, assists and his general work rate.
“Both him and Cedric [Itten] can also play with a number nine which is very interesting. We will treat him with care and get him up to speed.”
🎙️ SG: I watched Kemar (Roofe) at Oxford and Leeds and it was a real big coup for the club getting him in the door. People will talk about that goal for a long time and rightfully so but for me, it is all about getting him back up to 100% fitness and to keep producing the goods.
— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) October 23, 2020
As Leeds and Anderlecht fans are only too well aware, Roofe’s problem is not his quality on the pitch.
It is getting on the pitch and avoiding the extended injuries that have held him back in recent years.
When he is good, he is very good.
Ibrox sources have told Football Insider that the deal for Roofe was a very expensive one by Rangers’ standards.
Second only to the Ryan Kent signing 11 months previously in terms of an outlay on a single player over the last decade.
The club paid an initial fee of around £4.5m for Roofe that will be topped up by performance-related add-ons.
The versatile striker, 27, also put pen to paper on a four-year deal worth more than £20,000-a-week and that ties him to Ibrox until 2024.
Including a significant signing-on fee, the deal is worth in excess of £10m across four years.
— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) October 22, 2020
With his third goal for his new club, Roofe has ensured he will go down in Rangers folklore. Whatever else he does.
The trick is now to use it as a launchpad and for it not to be just a one-off magic moment.