Rangers must do everything to keep Kent

Ross Wilson must be fearing the worst as there are seven Glasgow Rangers first-team players out of contract at the end of the current season.

For likes of Scott Arfield, Steven Davis, and Allan McGregor, this term will most likely be their final one in Glasgow as Michael Beale aims to bring in his own players to build a new side, however, for a few others, the situation gets slightly more complicated.

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Wilson and Beale will want to keep both Alfredo Morelos and Ryan Kent at the Ibrox side and the next few months will be crucial in convincing two of the club’s prized assets that their long-term future is in Glasgow.

Wilson must do everything to keep Kent

What a difference a few months can make. Before the World Cup break, Kent was performing poorly, scoring just once and registering six assists across 13 Premiership matches, which on the surface, sounds like a reasonable return.

He was dubbed “misfiring” by Rangers Review journalist Derek Clark and his displays in the Champions League lacked any real urgency or desire to perform on the elite European stage.

He averaged a rating of just 6.28 across six appearances, taking just 37.7 touches on average and playing 0.5 key passes which was far below his capabilities and it looked like Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s rigid 4-3-3 was severely hindering Kent.

Since the return of Beale to Ibrox, having previously served as Steven Gerrard’s first team coach between 2018 and 2021, the 27-year-old has looked rejuvenated.

The 42-year-old has allowed Kent more freedom as opposed to hugging the touchline and this has resulted in the winger scoring once and registering an assist in just five matches, while his recent performance against Celtic was excellent.

The £18k-per-week star was back to his best during the 2-2 draw, averaging a 7.4/10 Sofascore rating, scoring the equaliser just after halftime and succeeding with half of his dribble attempts as he caused chaos amongst the Celtic defenders.

Aston Villa manager Steven Gerrard reacts after the match

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Beale sang Kent’s praises after the match, saying: “All the time I’m here Ryan Kent has a place here and is loved. Time and time again, when it matters, he shows up for this club.”

The tactical switch has clearly benefitted the winger and it would be a waste if he was to leave for nothing at the end of the season. The next few weeks could be extremely interesting, but the appointment of Beale may have been a wise move by Wilson, especially if he can convince Kent that there is a long-term project at Ibrox.