Forgotten Rangers man now outcast to League One reserve side in remarkable fall from grace

The former Liverpool hotshot came to Ibrox to work under Steven Gerrard but left halfway through his loan spell in 2018.

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Ovie Ejaria came to Rangers to work under Steven Gerrard (Image: Getty Images)Ovie Ejaria came to Rangers to work under Steven Gerrard (Image: Getty Images)
Ovie Ejaria came to Rangers to work under Steven Gerrard (Image: Getty Images)

Former Rangers loanee and Liverpool wonderkid Ovie Ejaria is now training with the reserves at lowly League One club Reading after failing to impress Ruben Selles with his attitude.

The midfielder spent a short spell at Ibrox in 2018 at a point where he was widely-considered a rising star with the potential of reaching the biggest of footballing stages. Ejaria joined Rangers on loan in the summer of 2018 to work under former Liverpool captain and youth coach Steven Gerrard.

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The player made 28 appearances for Rangers across the Premiership, League Cup and Europa League but was called back by Liverpool in the December of that season. The next month, he was sent to Reading on loan. He would later complete a permanent move to Berkshire and begin a fall from grace as the club plummeted into the third division.

Ejaria was signed by Liverpool in 2014 from the Arsenal youth academy and the player would go on to hone his skills in Merseyside before breaking into the first team in 2016. Ejaria went on to make eight first-team appearances for the Reds, two Premier League cameos and in six domestic cup fixtures, and was just 18 years old when first stepping out under Jurgen Klopp in 2016.

The youth academy product was even used as a shining example of dedication and promise by Klopp when speaking to fellow young players just a few months after his debut. Speaking in 2017 during a Tenerife training camp, Klopp said: “I told the boys before the session [on Tuesday] that last year, Ovie Ejaria came onto my plate, if you want. I saw him here first. I knew him, I saw him playing a few times, but here having him around for four days and seeing him in small spaces in the sessions against the ‘adults’ if you want was very important for him and for me.

“It’s an opportunity. You can see in their eyes they know it; they are really ambitious when they think about the sessions and we will try to do everything we can to give them the opportunity to impress. There’s no doubt about the attitude, there’s no doubt about quality – it’s only a question of are they already ready or not? If not, then they still have time. If yes, then let’s make the next step.”

Ovie Ejaria came to Rangers to work under Steven Gerrard (Image: Getty Images)Ovie Ejaria came to Rangers to work under Steven Gerrard (Image: Getty Images)
Ovie Ejaria came to Rangers to work under Steven Gerrard (Image: Getty Images)
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Having become a key member in Reading's side, Ejaria joined the then Championship club permanently in 2020 for a fee reported to be £3.5 million - that was the last time the Berkshire club paid a transfer fee for a player before a series of financial woes and embargos. Since then, the hype around the youngster has fallen away and now Reading manager Ruben Selles has taken to publicly shaming the star.

Ejaraia hasn't played for the Reading first time in a calendar year since picking up an injury, but Selles admitted this week that the player is no longer injured and that it is an attitude issue keeping him away from the side.

The 25-year-old is training with the under-21 side in the meantime as the Royals boss cannot even find reason in his side sitting rock bottom of the third division to give the former Liverpool talent a chance.

Selles said: "He had this when we arrived at the club, he was injured. He has been injured until the end of September, so we have been building him up with the Under-21s,

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"I am waiting for him to get his form and be able to play games and then I will decide. He needs to show his best. Right now, he is not injured he is building up form to be able to play. He needs to show that he wants to play for us and is fully ready. He needs to show that he wants to play and do things for this football club.

"He needs to be fully fit to play football matches and when we have decided that he is fully fit we will review the parameters of commitment. He will play if we decide he will play. He needs to show a lot if he wants to play for me."

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