Glasgow Rangers will be well aware they can’t afford to repeat the mistake they made with Billy Gilmour by letting Kai Kennedy leave his boyhood club.
Kennedy’s current contract will run out in 2021 and it’s been suggested that his time at the club could be coming to an end in the not too distant future.
However, reports in recent times have revealed that Rangers seem to have reneged on their stance as they have reopened discussions with the player’s representatives, with further talks to be held in the coming weeks and months.
According to Glasgow Live, the Rangers academy product could commit his future to the club after his agent held talks with the Gers.
It’s claimed that negotiations are still ongoing after initial talks stalled earlier this year following a public spat with Steven Gerrard over his playing time. However, it remains to be seen if the two sides will be able to reach an agreement.
The 18-year-old has attracted attention from European giants AS Roma, Bayern Munich and Manchester City in recent months after breaking through into the first team as a second half substitute in the 2-0 win over Stranraer in the Scottish Cup last season. So, Gers chief Ross Wilson must act now before it’s too late, as it’s unlikely he will be short of suitors in the months ahead.
Without trying to rub salt in the wound, it’s safe to say that the Light Blues have been in this position before, as Pedro Caixinha tried in vain to convince Gilmour to stay at the club back in 2017. They aren’t the first club and they certainly won’t be the last to lose one of their top prospects, but losing another would paint an all-too familiar pattern.
Once hailed as a “fabulous little player” by Gerrard after some “outstanding” performances, Kennedy has made five appearances for John Robertson’s side so far this season, registering his first assist against Raith Rovers in the Scottish Cup, which is surely a sign of things to come. At one stage it looked like the left winger was destined for the exit after an apparent disagreement with the Ibrox boss over his lack of game time.
Contrary to some reports, it seems that their relationship isn’t beyond repair, although the talented teenager is currently plying his trade on loan at Inverness Caledonian Thistle after being told he could find a new club in the summer. But Gerrard may have to swallow his pride as the club cannot afford to let another talented youngster slip through their grasp.
Now it’s up to Wilson to try and convince Kennedy to sign a new and improved contract, having so far failed to agree a new deal with the winger. Admittedly, Gerrard has a number of wide options to choose from, as Ryan Kent, Ianis Hagi, Brandon Barker, Jordan Jones and even Joe Aribo have all started in recent weeks before the international break.
However, Jones has hardly done himself any favours whatsoever after falling afoul of the coronavirus protocols. Indeed, the Northern Ireland international has been heavily linked with an exit in the winter transfer window. If he is sold as is expected, this would create space in the squad for another winger, which may allow Kennedy to stake his claim for a place in the starting line-up instead.
He just needs to be given the time to shine at a senior level, as he has already show flashes of his overall brilliance with two assists in seven games for the Gers’ reserves. Now Wilson must reward him with a new deal, or the club could live to regret their decision to let him go for little more than a development fee next summer in the years to come.