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Rangers holding onto their 18-year-old academy graduate would serve them well in the near future

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - JANUARY 17: Kai Kennedy of Rangers controls the ball during the Scottish Cup fourth round match between Rangers and Stranraer FC at Ibrox Stadium on January 17, 2020 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Why Rangers should not let go off teenage talent Kai Kennedy

According to Daily Record, Rangers starlet Kai Kennedy could soon leave Ibrox amidst interest from abroad.

Back in December, 18-year-old Kennedy was a subject of transfer speculation involving European giants Bayern Munich and Manchester City. The young winger just has one year left on his current Ibrox contract and the current situation has once again put those clubs on alert.

Kennedy, who is a part of Rangers reserve side, joined them last summer following his excellent displays for the Scottish side’s youth team in the Alkass Cup in Qatar in 2019. Left-winger Kennedy played a key role in helping them defeat Italian side AS Roma to clinch their first trophy in the event since its inception in 2012.

Kai Kennedy of Rangers controls the ball during the Scottish Cup fourth round match against Stranraer FC at Ibrox Stadium last January.
Kai Kennedy of Rangers controls the ball during the Scottish Cup fourth-round match against Stranraer FC at Ibrox Stadium last January. (Getty Images)

The teenage talent, however, has made just one senior-team appearance for the Ibrox club. He appeared as a second-half substitute in the William Hill Scottish Cup clash with Stranraer in January. The highly-rated Kennedy had been training with Gerrard’s first team during pre-season, however, his inability to break into the first-team line-up has now changed the situation at Ibrox.

Rangers should offer Kennedy more game time

Meanwhile, the report claims that Rangers would have a tough task in holding onto him, they are still hopeful of striking a new deal with Kennedy. With as many as five wingers already within the side, it is true that first-team opportunities will be very rare for Kennedy in the near future.

Summer signing Ryan Kent has been impressive for Rangers this season.
Summer signing Ryan Kent has been impressive for Rangers this season. (Getty Images)

Moreover, Ryan Kent, who arrived from Liverpool last summer, has established himself as the side’s first-choice left-winger following his eye-catching displays this season. Kent has scored 7 goals in 21 league games in his maiden season with them and winning over manager Gerrard’s favour.

However, apart from Kent none of the other four back-up wingers have impressed so far. They have only managed a combined 21 league appearances, suggesting that they are clearly not Gerrard’s favourite at the moment.

That said, it would be wise of Rangers to hold onto academy graduate Kennedy. A proven customer for them at the youth level, Rangers must keep more faith in him and offer him more chances at least next season.

Rangers boss Steven Gerrard celebrates with his players after their side's victory in the Scottish Premiership.
Rangers boss Steven Gerrard celebrates with his players after their side’s victory in the Scottish Premiership. (Getty Images)

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Verdict

Despite having enough back-up on the flanks, only Kent has been successful so far this season. This means that it’s high time Rangers started experimenting with their academy graduate Kennedy. Rather than offloading him, they should offer him a new deal and give him more opportunities.

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