Glasgow Rangers have churned out plenty of talented teenagers from the academy ranks in recent years, including current Chelsea star Billy Gilmour, but none may be as exciting as Kai Kennedy.
The Rangers loanee, who is currently on loan at Inverness Caledonian Thistle, could join the ever-reliable Ryan Kent as an alternative option on the left wing.
Standing at 5 foot 4 inches, the 18-year-old isn’t exactly the biggest player on the pitch, but he has been described as a “fabulous little player” by Steven Gerrard.
The Rangers boss has insisted that the sky is the limit for the Scotland U19 international. He told The Daily Record: “He earned the right to be the 19th man. His training performances and his cameo against Leicester – I was thinking about putting him in the 18. All of our lads at the academy should take note of what he’s done this week. I think he’s been outstanding.
“He’s been the most consistent and he’s a fabulous little player. It wasn’t just a token gesture because he’s a kid.
“It’s also to send a message to some of the players who are outside of the 18 that Kai was next from what I seen the majority of this week in training. He deserved to be out there.”
Kennedy has also admitted his excitement at one day playing for the club, he said: “I can’t wait, I am just buzzing to get on the pitch at Ibrox and I think all the boys are as well and I hope there is a good atmosphere,” he told Rangers TV.
“Going down to Solihull was good in the last round, the atmosphere was great for us and I think on Saturday the atmosphere should be good as well and we are all looking forward to it.
“The boys are all confident, we have had good results so far in the Youth League and in this cup and I think you can tell that all the boys are confident and we are playing well at the moment.”
The fact that Kennedy has made it clear that he wants to play at Ibrox as much as he possibly can should thrill Rangers fans, especially when you consider the fact that Kent continues to be linked with a move away from the club, amid interest from Leeds United.
The teenager just needs to be guaranteed game time, which is something Gerrard has been unable to provide so far.
On Saturday afternoon, Kennedy made his debut for Caley, coming off the bench for the final 19 minutes. It’s small steps, but encouraging ones at that.
“A lot of these young players have advisors who maybe try and push them a bit too quickly,” Ferguson told PLZ Soccer.
“I like young players to stay about and fight for a place. There’s no doubt the young kid has huge potential so I would like him to stay about. At this stage in his career it’s not about money.
“We’ve seen it with various young players moving far too quick for my liking, I’d like to see him stay for a while longer.”
High praise indeed from one of the club’s greatest players of all time.
Now they just need to reach a resolution with his representatives, which will be no easy task. However, if he can impress at Caley Thistle, it may not be too long before he is challenging Kent for a spot in the squad.
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