As a footballer, Nile Ranger started out at Crystal Palace before a move to Southampton in 2007 led to another move to Newcastle United Under-18s a year later.

Within a year he’d been promoted to the first-team squad . He went on to make 62 appearances for the Magpies, scoring three goals and adding four assists.

However, after loan moves to South Yorkshire neighbours Barnsley and Sheffield Wednesday, Ranger was released by the Toon at the start of March 2013.

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Drifting around the lower leagues

After a six-month break, Ranger was picked up by Swindon Town in August 2013 then released by them the following May.

This started a similar pattern of picked up/released with Blackpool picking him up in August 2014 and releasing him in February 2016. In that time he played just 14 games for the Tangerines. – scoring twice.

The Southend story and Nile Ranger

Blackpool let him go in Februay 2016, only for him to be picked up by Southend that August. On the 23 May 2017 he was sentenced to eight months in prison with Southend welcoming him back upon his release in August that year.

By the following January, 2018, the Shrimpers had also let him go and since then he has been technically a free agent.

However, he appears to be trying to get back into football, having signed on with Spalding United to play some games as fitness work. He has also more recently been seen training with the first-team squad at Southend.

However, despite the news spreading like wildfire on Twitter, this is not the case – Nile Ranger is not signing any form of short-term deal with Southend.

In fact, Ranger himself, tweeted the following denial:

The above tweet from the former Southend andNewcastle United striker puts paid to the rumours of a return to football with the Shrimpers.

It remains to be seen where his next foray into football will be. It won’t be at Southend.

Should a League Two side snap up Nile Ranger or leave him well alone?

Snap him up.

Can still do a job.

Leave well alone.

Too much baggage.