Rangers youngster Stephen Kelly has spent this season on loan at Ross County and is winning a lot of plaudits for his displays, so Steven Gerrard should consider unleashing him at Ibrox next season.
The 20-year-old joined John Hughes’ side on loan for the season last summer and has been a regular in the side throughout the 2020/21 campaign, making 25 appearances in all competitions, contributing two assists in that time.
The Scotland under-21 international, who is a product of Rangers’ youth academy, has previously spent time on loan with Ayr United in the Championship, where he also impressed, managing six goals and four assists in 33 appearances.
The young midfielder has shown this season that he can cut it at the top level of Scottish football and he could prove to be an important part of Gerrard’s squad next season, especially if we see fellow midfielder Glen Kamara depart as a result of the interest being shown in him by several Premier League clubs.
The Athletic’s Jordan Campbell recently sat down with Ross County manager John Hughes, who waxed lyrical about Kelly’s talent, comparing him to Rangers regular Steven Davis.
The Staggies boss said: “He’s as brave as a lion and has the courage to get on the ball. He’s my type of player: someone who wants the ball and keeps it ticking over. He understands the game. He’ll look at you and say, ‘I don’t quite get that’. He knows if he grasps and implements it, he’ll be better for it.”
Meanwhile, former Ayr manager Mark Kerr was also full of praise for the young midfielder after his excellent performances last season, saying: “I love him to bits. He’s a manager’s dream and (was) one of the best professionals at the club. He wants to be the best that he can be.”
Therefore, after proving himself in both the Championship and the Premiership on loan in the past two seasons, the next natural step for Kelly would surely be to build on the one senior appearance he has managed at Rangers so far in his career by establishing himself in Gerrard’s first team next season.
Certainly, if his performances over the last two seasons are anything to go by, it looks as if Kelly could have a bright future at Ibrox.