Nigerian star reveals why he failed under Gerrard at Rangers

Naija Players Abroad By: Ikponmwosa Umweni | 15/05/2019

Nigerian star Sadiq Umar reveals why he failed under the tutelage of Steven Gerrard at Rangers during his loan spell.

The 22-year-old Kaduna-born joined the Gers on loan from Serie A Roma in the summer, but he failed to impress and his loan spell was cut short six months early.

Umar now on loan at Perugia in Serie B explains why he featured in just four games as he hit out Liverpool legend after the striker speaking to the Sunday Post and made some serious allegations against the Scottish club. 

"Gerrard proved to be very different from what I believed he would be.

"At the beginning, I didn’t know anything about the Rangers move. The negotiations were all between Roma and my representatives.

"And when my agent told me about it, I expressed my doubts.

"I wasn’t sure it was the right thing to do. But he kept arguing it would be good for me and my career.

"Then it was Steven Gerrard himself who convinced me.

"He phoned me three or four times, complimenting me and saying he’d back me to be a success.

"It made me feel important and convinced me to agree to the loan switch.

"At that point, I knew the club the same way football fans all over the world know Rangers – for its history and the passion of its fans.

"But when I arrived, I didn’t even have any time to settle down before they brought in another striker, Kyle Lafferty.

"That was when the problems started, and my situation soon degenerated into a real nightmare.

"All of a sudden, I was told that I could not use the first-team dressing-room any more. Instead I had to go change with the kids.

"Then, after a few days, I was also forbidden to park my car inside the training centre.

"I felt humiliated and kept asking what was the reason for the change of attitude. But I never received any answers.

"Gerrard wouldn’t give any explanation about it, neither to me nor my representatives.

"I believe absolutely that I was not given a fair chance to show what I can do. They made me feel like a stranger.

"I started only once (in the League Cup semi-final against Aberdeen) and that was when there were no other strikers available.

"As I say, for me everything went wrong after they brought in another striker (Lafferty).

"Once I put a ‘like’ on Instagram to a post from a fan – and I was fined £20,000, which was absurd.

"And Rangers didn’t even pay me up everything I was due. They still have to give me my salary for December.”

That claim has so far not been verified, and it’s clear that Sadiq retains some bitterness abut how his career at Ibrox went.

"I honestly don’t care how they do. As long as I was a Rangers player, I behaved like a professional, giving everything I could to the shirt.

"But now I don’t want to hear about them and what they are doing any more.

"In my opinion, they behaved in a disrespectful way to me, both as a player and as a person.

"When it ended, Steven Gerrard didn’t even have the courage to talk to me and tell me what was happening face-to-face.

"That was a surprise to me. I didn’t expect such behaviour.

'How he will do long-term as a manager, I do not know. That is his business and I have my own career to think about.

"One man I do wish all the luck and success to in the future, though, is Alfredo Morelos.

"He was my fellow striker, and I felt good with him during the time I was in Scotland.

"I would say that he is a very good player and an exceptional guy. He will be one of the few Rangers that I will follow with affection.”