We’re delighted to welcome former Rangers manager Alex McLeish as our exclusive columnist. Each week he’ll be giving his views on the biggest talking points at Ibrox…

Alex McLeish has lamented the past Rangers exit of Billy Gilmour before claiming it is “vital” they secure the futures of young talents such as Kai Kennedy.

McLeish claimed that Gilmour could have gone on to be a phenomenal player at Ibrox, similar to the likes of Barry Ferguson in midfield.

The Daily Record has reported that Kennedy is finally closing in on a new contract in Glasgow, and McLeish was asked whether it was a boost to finally get this long-awaited deal sorted.

Rangers

Speaking exclusively to Ibrox News, McLeish said, “Of course it is.

“You lose some young players in the past, you perhaps would like to have held on to, the likes of Billy Gilmour, and he would have been a phenomenal player for Rangers, probably in the mould of Barry Ferguson – that was a deal they couldn’t stop.

“Trying to tie up the young ones is very vital to the Rangers academy, and the 21s and everything about Rangers. If he’s destined to become one of the great players, of course, you’ve got to do everything you can to keep him.”

Chelsea

The one that got away?

Gilmour was linked with a loan move back to Ibrox recently, and it would have been an inspired move given the injuries to the likes of Scott Arfield and Ryan Jack.

The 19-year-old has featured in the Premier League and the Champions League for Chelsea this season, and McLeish is spot on to claim he was the one that got away.

Kennedy isn’t quite on the same levels as it stands, but with Bayern Munich and Manchester City previously interested, it is vital that his future is sorted out sooner rather than later.

In other Rangers news, Ian Durrant claims Bears missed injured duo in Old Firm victory

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