Liverpool royalty, Sir Kenny Dalglish, has extolled the virtues of Reds winger and former Rangers loanee, Ryan Kent, suggesting that the 22-year-old could yet stake a claim at Anfield.
“It’s only logical that Rangers want to bring Ryan Kent back to the club,” he writes in The Sunday Post. “He is a fine young player, and would be a major asset in their quest to stop Celtic winning nine league titles in a row.
“However, for me it’s perfectly understandable that Liverpool need to look after themselves, first and foremost. I’m sure Jurgen Klopp will try to be helpful to Steven Gerrard whenever he can.
“But Jurgen’s priority is his own team. And, right now, Klopp needs Kent.
“Liverpool’s pre-season is well under way, but they are still missing one or two players. So that’s why the likes of Kent and Harry Wilson have been getting a game.
“If Kent impresses and really catches the eye of the manager, then he may well not be allowed to leave as Jurgen will see him as part of his first-team squad.
“Alternatively, a big-money bid could come in for Ryan, and there would be a decision whether to sell or not. We will just have to wait and see what happens.”
Jurgen Klopp has disappointed Steven Gerrard and Marcelo Bielsa by blocking another loan move for winger Ryan Kent. Kent will feature against Tranmere tonight and Bradford on Sunday as well as going on the club’s US tour. #lfc
— David Anderson (@MirrorAnderson) July 11, 2019
Let’s not forget, Kent is no stranger to the opportunities a good pre-season can present to a young player. Catching the eye in August of 2017, a strong showing as the Reds beat Bayern Munich at the Allianz might well have been the impetus for a loan spell at Freiburg.
After uninspired time spent at Bristol City, Kent joined up with another former Kop icon after being enlisted by Steven Gerrard up at Rangers in the 2018/19 season. Six goals and nine assists were added to the invaluable experience of being part of a European campaign.
More still, finding the net in the Old Firm derby, and finding himself in hot water after a clash with Celtic captain Scott Brown, have been valuable lessons for Kent. King Kenny scored over 100 goals in over 200 appearances for The Hoops, and yet still acknowledges the threat Kent could pose to their dominance in Scotland.
Further south, during the Reds’ pre-season, Tranmere failed to bring the best out of the Oldham-born winger, but at Bradford he showcased what he is capable of down on the left.
It was Kent’s ball to James Milner from the short corner that got proceedings underway for 1-0, while, just seconds later, he hit the deck in the box for Milner to convert the resultant penalty.
The question is, will the education he currently has be enough for him to pass this pre-season with flying colours down the left-wing?
In the absence of AFCON finalist Sadio Mané and the absent Mo Salah, plus the injured Xherdan Shaqiri, Kent does have a chance to impress on the US tour before the season gets underway.