Against all the odds, it looks as though the penny may have dropped for Nile Ranger.
Incapable of even turning up on time for training when at Newcastle, never mind his run-ins with the Police, the former NUFC player might have just at last decided to try and make a career in football.
An initial pre-season trial at Southend ended up with him being kept on into the season proper – but now he has been given a new four year contract which takes him up to the end of the 2019/20 season, by which time he would be aged 29.
After causing problems and disruption at the likes of Newcastle, Swindon and Blackpool, Southend have obviously seen a much changed player/person to have given Nile Ranger this deal. There is hope for anybody!
Earlier this month the striker scored his first league goals in over two years, helping Southend beat Bury in League One.
In this current Championship season for the Magpies, it is easy to forget that an 18 year old Nile Ranger made 25 appearances (4 starts) for Newcastle in that promotion season of 2009/10.
Official Southend United Statement:
‘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.’