STEVEN GERRARD insists Kyle Lafferty had the opportunities he needed to impress at Rangers but didn’t do enough to catch the eye on his return to Ibrox.
The striker saw his second spell in Light Blue come to a premature end on Wednesday as his contract was mutually terminated just one year after joining from Hearts.
Lafferty made 30 appearances for Gerrard’s side last term but scored just six goals and hasn’t featured this summer after being told he was surplus to requirements.
Gerrard said: “You’d need ask Kyle the question as to why it hasn’t panned out for him. We had high hopes for him because when he signed he was in a really good place.
“He was the type of player that we wanted to add to our armoury. He’s a big, physical presence up front.
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“But for whatever reason it hasn’t worked out. We believe he had the opportunities.
“Kyle is a good player, we have seen him do well throughout his career. But you and I know both know showing in glimpses for Rangers isn’t enough. That’s the brutal truth.
“But as a guy and having worked with him I only have good words to say about him. He’s a good character to have around the place, but if I had kept hold of him from a selfish point of view then he would have struggled for game-time.
“He’s still young enough and he still has the drive and hunger to be a success at whatever he decides to do.
“I have to respect that he wanted it done quickly so he could get out and get himself playing.
“We probably won’t look to replace him because I think it would have the reverse affect on what we’re trying to do and how we are trying to play.”
The departure of Lafferty won’t be the last that Rangers confirm before the transfer window closes this summer.
Gerrard is still looking to offload another half a dozen players from his squad after adding strength and depth with eight arrivals.
Gerrard said: “I’d be very surprised if they wanted to sit here and pick up wages, if they do then we just have to swallow it.
“You hope that things will snowballs in the coming weeks. There is a problem with wages. When you are at a big club like Rangers and when you’re told you’re surplus you have to look for the same kind of money.
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“I try and be as honest and open with the individuals as possible. I think it’s cruel to sit and wait as a manager only to tell the player two days before the window closes to find a club.”
One of those players that Gerrard is keen to offload is winger Eros Grezda.
The Albanian was a £2million capture from Osijek last summer but failed to impress and will be allowed to move.
Gerrard said: “I think it has been frustrating for everyone. He came with an injury and found it very hard to shake off and come back in a good place.
“So I don’t think he got off to the best of starts.
“He had other niggles around that and I think he has found the whole game here and demands here tough.
“He has been honest and open about that.
“But there is still a talent there, still a good player there.
“I have no doubt that he can go to a league, a team and a manager that might suit his style and be a success.
“Again, he has been very professional since he came back. He is a good lad and we want to try and help him.”