Only two weeks ago Nile Ranger was handed an astonishing long-term deal by Southend United.

Southend confirming a deal (see below) until summer 2020 after the former Newcastle United waster had done so well at the Essex club so far.

We even said: ‘Against all the odds, it looks as though the penny may have dropped for Nile Ranger’.

However, Wednesday morning has seen the BBC confirm that Ranger has been charged with fraud and Money laundering.

The BBC:

‘A footballer has been charged over an alleged scam involving a vulnerable person’s bank details being taken so their savings could be accessed.

Southend United striker Nile Ranger, 25, has been charged with conspiracy to defraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering, police said.

The offences are alleged to have been committed in February 2015.

Mr Ranger, of Bounds Green, north London, is due to appear at Highbury Corner Magistrates’ Court.’

Official Southend United Statement – Thursday 1 December 2016:

‘Southend United are delighted to announce Nile Ranger has signed a contract extension that commits his long-term future to the club.

Ranger has put pen to paper on a deal tying him down to the end of the 2019/20 season.

The forward has made a big impact at Roots Hall since signing in the summer, playing a big role in Blues’ current seven game unbeaten run in Sky Bet League One.

Blues are also yet to taste defeat when Ranger has started, winning five and drawing three of the eight games.

His long-awaited debut came in a 3-0 win away at Sheffield United in August which included an assist for the third goal.

Injury then sidelined Ranger for six weeks until a return to the starting line-up in the 1-0 win at home to Chesterfield.

The 25-year-old has scored two goals so far, both of which came in the 4-1 win away at Bury last month.

We look forward to Nile’s continued progress at the club in years to come.’