Fashion Sakala reveals he turned down Premier League clubs to sign for Rangers
Fashion Sakala has revealed how he was convinced to knock back Premier League riches after being sold on Steven Gerrard’s Rangers vision for the future.
The Zambian will join Gerrard’s squad next month after a breakthrough campaign in Belgium, where he fired 16 goals for Oostende.
That impressive tally drew interest not only from Ibrox but also from clubs in England’s top flight, France and Spain.
Sakala admits he could have banked much more than was on offer from the new Scottish champions.
But it was Liverpool great Gerrard’s smooth sales pitch which won the 24-year-old over as he decided Glasgow was the “perfect” place to take the next step in his career.
“This is a very beautiful story to tell,” said the forward, recalling his first meeting with the Rangers boss in an interview with the DJ Showstar TV’s YouTube channel back in his homeland.
“At that time I had a lot of big teams (interested) but Rangers for me is the biggest club that I really wanted to play for.
“I had teams in the Premier League, I had teams in France.
“When you are with God, you have to take life step by step. So when you want to jump some steps, life can become a burden.
“So going to the Premier League too early can become a curse.
“When I talk about the Premier League, people think I am just claiming I had clubs in England but we have seen players from Belgium with five goals going to the Premier League.
“At the time I signed for Glasgow Rangers, I had 14 goals. I was already on the level to go to the Premier League.
“I have the chance to choose again, I would still choose Rangers and I believe this is the perfect decision that I’ve made.
“I had meetings with the Premier League teams. I had meetings with teams in France and in LaLiga.
“But looking at how Gerrard explained to me how he wants me to play I could tell he really wanted me to be part of his squad and he can see something big coming from me.
“The first time when we had the meeting he said, ‘Very few players have your qualities and that he had seen many players who have made it in European football without your qualities’.
“So with my qualities he said he believes I can make it to the top. At that time I felt cold, ‘This is coming from Gerrard’.
“So then I thought, no matter what situation comes or if these big teams put a lot of money in, I’m not looking for money. The money I’ll be getting from Rangers, my life will be secure.
“I’m not choosing money over the step that will take me higher.
“Teams from the Premier League, teams from China, teams from Dubai – these are money moves.
“You’re not going for your career. You’re just going for money.
“But Rangers is for a career step and also for money. They pay very good but in my head I never wanted money.
“If money was first, I could have gone to China or Saudi Arabia or Qatar.
“But I know Rangers is the right team for money and for my career.”
Having refused to be swayed by cash, Sakala now hopes he can profit on silverware after joining a Gers squad flying high after last year’s title celebrations.
“You know there’s a lot of people that come from the Premier League that go to Rangers,” he said.
“Playing for Rangers is better than playing for some Premier League teams. Playing for Rangers is better than playing for some teams in France.
“That’s a very big team. One of the most successful clubs in terms of trophies. They have a rich history and great fanbase. The fans are amazing.”
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