The former Bristol City players on the cusp of Europa League glory with Rangers
Two former loan players at Bristol City are now a game away from winning European football’s second bigest prize
Bristol City may be a world away from European football right now but two of their former players are on the cusp of Europa League glory with Rangers
Despite Lee Johnson’s claims back in 2016 the club could be in Europe five years from then, they are where they were under him, in the Championship.
He may have been wrong but one player that came before him and one signed under his watch, are just ninety minutes away from winning European football’s second biggest trophy.
One-time loanees Ryan Kent and James Tavernier are in the final with the Scottish Premiership outfit.
Tavernier, signed on loan in January 2015 from Wigan Athletic, was part of the Robins side that won the League one title, scoring three times in 12 matches as a goal-scoring defender.
And whilst he may not have entered the pitch, he was on the bench in City’s EFL Trophy triumph over Walsall.
Now the Gers captain could get his hands on the Europa League trophy in what would be a life-changing seven years in his career.
After his success with City, he was signed by Rangers, who were then in the Scottish Championship. He ended up being part of the side that won promotion back to the Scottish top flight.
Eventually in 2018, Steven Gerrard made him captain and he hasn’t looked back since. Last year he won the Scottish Premiership title and now after more than 300 games at the club, only Frankfurt stands in the way of him winning some European silverware.
And whilst their paths never crossed in B3, there is another player that turned out in the red of Bristol before moving north of the border.
Ryan Kent had struggled to make the breakthrough at Liverpool and had numerous loan spells at Coventry City, Barnsley and Freiburg but left Anfield making one senior appearance for the Reds.
In his penultimate loan move before moving to Rangers, Kent was at City in 2018 for the second part of the season.
It wasn’t a loan spell that was majorly successful and a report from The Sun said City faced a fine of up to £300,000 for not picking him regularly, as part of the loan agreement.
He made ten appearances, six of them as starts and then four off of the substitutes bench, being an unused substitute on four occasions. Kent created just two assists and no goals as City finished the season in 11th, as he missed the last six games of the season.
Fortunately for him, he was able to work under Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard, where he excelled, regularly scoring goals and earning assists, winning the SPFL title and getting into two PFA Team of the Year’s.
Now at the present day, he and Tavernier are just two days away from what is the biggest game of their careers, as they prepare for their trip to Sevilla, which hosts the final.
After getting through Lyon, Sparta Prague and Brondby in the qualifiers, before overcoming Borussia Dortmund, Red Star Belgrade, Braga and Leipzig, they have one more challenge.
Eintracht Frankfurt, who defeated West Ham United over two legs to reach the final. The German outfit finished 11th in the table, but overcame Barcelona on their route to the final.