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Rangers endured a big howler with Ibrox prospect Liam Kelly

The Rangers academy showcased its potential last weekend as Giovanni van Bronckhorst fielded a host of young players in their final Premiership match of the campaign.

Alex Lowry stole the show for the Ibrox side with a goal and an assist in a 3-1 win, whilst the likes of Leon King, Charlie McCann and Cole McKinnon, among others, also featured in the first-team match.

Van Bronckhorst has shown that he is not afraid to give young players a chance at Rangers, and Lowry’s emergence is proof of that.

Rangers have not always had the best of luck when it comes to bringing players through their academy in recent years. Of those currently playing professional football, the 10 most valuable Gers academy products – via Transfermarkt – are all playing for other clubs, albeit that one of them (Nathan Patterson) left the club earlier this year in a record deal.

One player with whom the Gers had a big howler in 2018 was goalkeeper Liam Kelly, who was sold to Livingston for an undisclosed fee. Transfermarkt valued him at £90k at the time of the move, having failed to make a first-team appearance at Ibrox.

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Since making the switch four years ago, he has played for Livingston and English Championship side QPR, and he is now back in the Premiership with Motherwell as their number one.

He played 22 times in his season in west London in 2019/20 and duly sealed a transfer to Fir Park, where he has impressed with his performances.

In the Premiership this term, he averaged a SofaScore rating of 6.79 and committed zero errors leading to shots or goals. This comes after he averaged a sublime score of 6.97 last term for Motherwell, making zero errors in total.

His current manager Graham Alexander hailed him as a  “fantastic” goalkeeper and tipped him to be on Steve Clarke’s radar for the Scotland squad, highlighting how impressive the 26-year-old has been.

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Gio van Bronckhorst coaching on the touchline for Rangers

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Meanwhile, Allan McGregor has averaged a score of 6.76 in the top flight this term and made four errors directly leading to shots or goals. This suggests that Rangers had a big howler in letting Kelly go in 2018, as his current performances suggest that he has been more reliable than the 40-year-old in the Premiership throughout 2021/22.

At the time of writing (17/05/22), Transfermarkt value the former QPR tank at £405k. This is a whopping 350% increase from his valuation at the end of his Rangers career, which shows that he has come on leaps and bounds since departing from his hometown.

Instead of benefitting from his value on and off the pitch, the Gers let him go before giving him a chance at senior level, and they will surely be regretting that decision now…

AND in other news, Van Bronckhorst must finally unleash “powerful” 19 y/o Rangers gem who “took his chance” in 2022…

Article title: Rangers endured a big howler with Ibrox prospect Liam Kelly

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