Glasgow Rangers will have been thrilled with Kai Kennedy after he earned rave reviews during his Raith Rovers debut on Saturday.
Kennedy only moved to Stark’s Park at the start of the month having agreed a new two-year deal which will keep him at Rangers until 2023.
Despite appearing to be heading for the Ibrox exit in the summer, Ross Wilson hailed his “maturity” after he reiterated his commitment to the club.
On loan at John McGlynn’s Rovers, Kennedy has already made a big impression at Kirkcaldy so far as he set up a goal against Heart of Midlothian in his first start for the Championship club.
A puppyish bundle of energy and power, Kennedy earned the visitors’ second penalty before he teed up Regan Tumility to put Raith 3-0 ahead shortly after halftime.
Kennedy has enjoyed a fruitful spell since the start of this season, and the attacking midfielder has so far set the tone for the rest of the year in terms of productivity.
Since leaving Ibrox on a temporary basis in pursuit of more game time, the 18-year-old has proven to be a potent threat, providing four combined goals and assists in 11 appearances across all competitions.
After being criticised for his poor attitude, the left-winger has proved those doubters wrong and continues to go from strength to strength as he tries to gain some more experience.
With one goal and three assists in 11 games in 2020/21, Kennedy, who earns wages worth £31,200-per-year, has already nearly matched his tally from 2019-20, despite seeing just 775′ minutes of action first-hand.
If we take a closer look at the numbers, he contributes to a goal on average every 193′ minutes. Or, in other words, it roughly equates to a goal every two games.
In actual fact, the Scotland U19 international has been directly involved in more goals than Brandon Barker this season, which suggests that recalling Kennedy could provide an immediate upgrade on the 24-year-old.
This is further evidenced by the fact that Barker has contributed to just two goals and zero assists in 13 appearances since Kennedy left the club, which shows that the teenager has been more effective in the final third.
Furthermore, Barker has been deemed surplus to requirements by Steven Gerrard and seems set for the Ibrox exit. Kennedy, therefore, could be a fine addition to the first-team squad when he returns.
However, Rangers seem to be in no rush to hurry his development, as he will spend the rest of this season on loan at Rovers in the Championship and use that time to improve and come back as a better player.