They say never return to your former club but that’s exactly what Ryan Kent should be doing this coming season.
A match winner capable of tearing apart even the most respected full-backs is exactly what Steven Gerrard would want in his squad as he aims to win his first silverware as a manager. Having done exactly that last season on loan at Ibrox Kent should be priority number one for Rangers this summer and the interest from the club is absolutely there.
The arrivals of Jordan Jones, Greg Stewart and Sheyi Ojo suggest that Gerrard is preparing for life without his mercurial talisman yet none of those three are of the same class as Kent. Jones is consistently inconsistent– on his day he’s unplayable yet these days are few and far between; Stewart has impressed at Killie and Dundee in the past when given creative freedom but struggled to cope at Aberdeen where he was asked to operate as part of a unit; and Ojo hasn’t really made much of a success of any of his loan spells away from Anfield (although the same could’ve been said about Kent before he arrived at Ibrox last summer).
Kent was really developing into a special talent at Ibrox and Jurgen Klopp might be best placed to let him continue his development in Glasgow. It’s known that the German is a fan of the 22-year-old yet with Harry Wilson the academy product most likely to get a chance at Anfield in the first team this season a loan move to a club who’ll likely be in Europe could prove be a good decision from Klopp.
Kent can provide a consistent out ball on either side of Gerrard’s preferred trident up-front and already has a good relationship with Alfredo Morelos. The development of Kent and the Colombian as something of partnership had just begun and it would be a shame if it were to end after just a year.
Gerrard will be looking for anything that could give his Rangers team an advantage over a Celtic squad in transition and there’s no doubting Kent’s potential to be a difference maker. Bringing him back will also take Rangers’ attacking pool from decent to as impressive as Celtic’s current crop, with a front three of Morelos, Scott Arfield and Kent as good as Celtic’s current strikers if not marginally better when fit and firing.
While there are other issues that maybe need addressing first (a commanding centre half and an out-and-out left back of a similar standard to James Tavernier wouldn’t go amiss at Ibrox) the addition of Kent to this Rangers squad could just see them have all the tools capable of finally overthrowing Celtic as Scotland’s dominant side over the last decade.