By Adefunmiloye Alani

28th Jul, 2021 | 10:12am

Matty Yates compares Kai Kennedy with Lionel Messi

Stranraer striker Matty Yates has showered praises on Rangers sensation Kai Kennedy, comparing him with the great Lionel Messi.

The 19-year-old knows Kennedy from their days together at the Light Blues academy, and is hoping the winger can get a chance to stake a claim in the first-team soon.

The attacking midfielder, 19, is currently on loan with Scottish Championship outfit Dunfermline Athletic, and Yates reckons he could be tearing it up in the Premiership pretty soon.

“They send a lot of people out on loan but Kai Kennedy tore up the Championship and he’s out on loan again,” the Rangers academy graduate told The Athletic.

“I thought when Kai made his debut with Nathan he’d get his chance but he hasn’t yet. Hopefully, he gets it soon as if he gets a few games he would show people.

“For a wee guy, you can’t get the ball off him. He’s so stocky. He reminds me of how Lionel Messi is, he’s just brilliant. He’s not the fastest but if he gets away from you, you’re not catching him after those couple of yards.”

The next Messi?

West Ham United and Norwich City were both keen on bringing Kennedy to the Premier League ahead of next season [Daily Record], but their mission fell through as the Ibrox side were not keen on letting go.

The Scotland youth international is not likely going to win six Ballon d’Or gongs, but his diminutive figure and style of play are similar to Messi’s, and we cannot deny his potential.

Kennedy made it into UEFA’s Youth League best XI after his impressive performances on the continent last season, and the likes of Roma, Bayern Munich and Manchester City all came calling [Daily Record] as he initially stalled over a new deal for a reason.

While his Inverness Caledonian Thistle loan did not go as planned, the teenager impressed at Raith Rovers in the latter half of last season and knows he needs to do even better at Dunfermline.

We are not likely to let him go permanently anytime soon unless he forces an exit, and he has to prove his quality in the Championship.

Kennedy believes in himself and was glad to have been linked with West Ham [Daily Mail], but still has a long way to go to become a Rangers first-team star and a Scotland international.

The talent and potential are there, but he needs to work harder to reach the top.

In other Rangers news, 36y/o wants to become Light Blues manager in future.