The Chalkboard: Jordan Jones will find it difficult to live up to Ryan Kent’s Rangers impact

With Rangers’ season done and dusted, manager Steven Gerrard can finally fully focus on the challenges ahead this summer as the club prepare to mount a serious challenge on the trophies available in Scotland next term.

The recruitment team at Ibrox have already been busy of course, signing players such as Jake Hastie and Jordan Jones on a pre-contract basis, also tying down Steven Davis.

One big blow to the squad will be the departure of Ryan Kent, who will head back to parent club Liverpool with his future next season very much in doubt.

It will, initially at least, leave the Gers first-team without a key attacking threat, although you’d have to think that the arrival of Jones has at least been designed to fill the gap left by the 22-year-old.

Can the Northern Ireland international step into that left wing position and make fans forget all about Kent?

On the chalkboard

Jones, who is coming off the back of a season helping Kilmarnock qualify for Europe after finishing third in the Scottish Premiership, undoubtedly has talent and is one of the stand-outs in the division outside of Rangers and Celtic.

A more direct and pacy talent than Kent, he might lack a bit of the flair that the Liverpool man offered the Gers throughout 2018/19 and as a result may find it tougher to win over supporters as quickly as Kent, whose close ball control and skill had fans on their feet from the start.

He would need to up his direct goal contribution too, registering just four goals and four assists for the entire season at Kilmarnock.

That kind of end product won’t fly at Ibrox and ultimately may be the real barrier Jones has to break through to be considered a viable replacement for Kent.

Check out Keith from C’mon the Hoops’ fascinating video on the origins of the Old Firm derby below…

Threat to progress

Jones also arrives at the club as another left winger, Glenn Middleton, continues to build a bit of hype of his own at Rangers.

Initially getting plenty of football in the first half of the season, the teenager was dropped to the reserves after the winter break, but continued to catch the eye of fans with a number of excellent goals at that level and for youth sides.

The former Killie man would have to hit the ground running to stave off calls for Middleton to get more game time.

Both trying to live up to the billing of a Kent replacement as well as being someone who is a threat to the progress of the 19-year-old, Jones will absolutely have it all to prove when he does arrive in Gerrard’s squad.