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Leeds signing this Rangers star with £20m release clause would be a smart move by Bielsa

Ryan Kent has established himself as a key player for Rangers (Getty Images)
Ryan Kent has established himself as a key player for Rangers (Getty Images)

Why Leeds United shouldn’t hesitate to pay £20m for Ryan Kent

According to Football Insider (h/t Leeds Live), Premier League newcomers Leeds United are set to make a renewed attempt to sign Rangers winger Ryan Kent in the final two weeks of the summer transfer window.

The West Yorkshire giants had a bid turned down by Steven Gerrard’s side for the 23-year-old earlier in the summer, with the Gers making it clear that the player will not be sold. (Football Insider h/t Leeds Live).

However, as per the report, Leeds still hold a genuine interest in the former Liverpool man, who has a handsome release clause of £20million in his contract at Ibrox that runs until 2023.

Profile

Ryan Kent graduated from Liverpool’s academy but he made only a single competitive appearance for the Reds against Exeter City in the FA Cup, spending most of his early career on loan spells away from Anfield.

Rangers have 'strongly rejected' Leeds United's £10m bid for Ryan Kent, confirms Steven Gerrard who issues transfer warning
Leeds United have a bid turned down by Rangers for Ryan Kent earlier this summer (Getty Images)

The diminutive winger had temporary stints at Coventry City, Barnsley, SC Freiburg, and Bristol City before joining Rangers on loan back in the summer of 2018. The 23-year-old’s stay at Ibrox was made permanent in 2019 after he enjoyed a successful loan spell north of the border.

The former England U-20 international has since established himself as one of the most devastating attacking players in the Scottish Premiership. Kent has accumulated an impressive tally of 18 goals and 16 assists in 84 appearances for Rangers in all competitions.

Kent ticks several boxes at Elland Road

Despite forking out a club-record fee to sign Rodrigo Moreno from Valencia earlier in the summer, Leeds United still lack adequate depth in their attacking ranks to cope with the demanding nature of the Premier League. 

Report: Leeds United eye £10m move for Rangers star Ryan Kent
Kent has established himself as one of the best wingers in the Scottish Premiership (Getty Images)

The likes of Helder Costa and Jack Harrison have made a real impact down the flanks early on in the campaign but the Whites hardly have any quality cover for their first-choice wide attacking duo. Of course, Stuart Dallas and Ezgjan Alioski are primarily wingers by trade but Bielsa has been more inclined to deploy them as full-backs.

Suffice to say, Leeds need more competition for places out wide to avoid a potential burnout in the latter stages of the campaign when injuries begin to creep in. Ryan Kent, to that end, presents a perfect option, not only for the present but also in adherence to the club’s long-term plans. 

The 23-year-old’s career at Liverpool never really took off due to lack of opportunities but he has proven his pedigree since moving north of the border. Kent has continued to fire on all cylinders in the ongoing campaign as well, registering 4 goals and an assist in 8 league games for Rangers so far (at the time of writing).

Celtic vs Rangers: Ryan Kent baffles fans after 'gun celebration' in front of Hoops supporters – The Scottish Sun
Leeds are still interested in bringing Kent to Elland Road (Getty Images)

Essentially a right-footed player, Kent predominantly operates down the left-wing but he is more than capable of playing on the other side of the pitch and also in a No.10 role. It’s hard to say whether he would be an instant upgrade on what Leeds already have but his arrival will most certainly ensure healthy competition for places.

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Verdict

Ryan Kent has shown a lot of promise at Rangers and still has his best years ahead of him. Marcelo Bielsa is right up there with the best when it comes to getting the best out of young players and the 23-year-old certainly looks capable of cutting the mustard in the Premier League if his impressive numbers north of the border are anything to go by.

Having said that, Leeds United triggering Kent’s £20m release clause could be a piece of shrewd business and one that pays off handsomely for the Whites moving forward.

Matteo Guendouzi (Getty Images)

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