Alan Hutton predicts 'massive' future for 'explosive' Rangers first teamer
Expectations were high when Rangers spent £7 million on Ryan Kent over the summer.
Not only is that a lot of money, but given his form at Ibrox last season, when he won the Scottish PFA’s Young Player of the Year while on loan from Liverpool, the hope and belief was that his return would herald a continuation of that impressive output.
Instead, the 23-year-old found himself hampered by injury, and it has taken him a little while to fully get up to speed during his second spell in Glasgow.
But now, after another goalscoring turn in Friday’s 3-0 win over Hibernian, it would appear that he is beginning to reach something akin to his best work.
And that’s certainly the opinion of Alan Hutton too.
Speaking to Football Insider, he said: “He kind of got thrown into it without much of a pre-season which was unfortunate.
“So it’s taking a while for him to come back and yes he was rusty in the first few games, but I think as of late we’re seeing the more explosive Ryan Kent, the guy who can go either way.
“Giving the other team problems, it takes time to get to 100%, and I think he is definitely getting there now.
“Looking to the next stage of the season, he’s going to be massive, he’s going to be one of the first-names on Gerrard’s teamsheet.
“And a lot of good play goes through him, so he’s going to be a massive player for Rangers going forward, not just in this part of the season but in the coming years.”
The 23-year-old’s goal against Hibs was his fourth in the Scottish Premiership this season, and Hutton isn’t the only one to have noticed his steady improvement over the course of the campaign.
Previously, Chris Sutton has acknowledged in a column for the Daily Record that while Kent hasn’t been performing to the same standard that he was this time last year, he is starting build up some momentum again.
The key here is for him to stay fit. The Gers have made a big statement by splashing the cash on Kent, and it’s clear that he is regarded as a big part of the club’s future going forward.
Now is the time for the wide man to repay that faith.