By Saikat Mandal

7th Oct, 2021 | 10:15am

John Hughes drools over Rangers youngster Stephen Kelly

John Hughes has showered heaps of praise on Rangers midfielder Stephen Kelly saying he has made the right choice by not moving out on loan again.

The 21-year-old young midfielder is a highly rated young talent who broke out from the club’s youth academy and has already made three appearances for the senior team.

Kelly previously spent loan spells at Ayr United and Ross County where he made a strong impact.

Hughes, who was the manager of Ross County last season, has said that Kelly is a “manager’s dream”, adding he is an “absolute winner” in the training ground.

“He’s a proper professional and a good kid. I’ve seen he’s been on the Rangers first-team bench and I’d say to him to absorb it all, take it all in. Learn from them all,” said Hughes to Football Scotland.

“He was magnificent. He needs that explosive power for the first 10-yard burst, shoulder to shoulder. And it’s not for the want of trying, he was never out the gym doing all the leg stuff.

“He looks after the ball, passes the ball, an absolute winner on the training pitch. He’s into his teammates if they’re not doing it right, he’s a manager’s dream.”

Brave decision

This summer Rangers boss Steven Gerrard didn’t prefer to spend big money in the transfer window despite winning the league title.

It shows how much he values the squad. Kelly had the option to move out on loan but he decided to stay put and learn from the senior players.

There is no guarantee that Kelly will get opportunities, but Hughes is absolutely right that staying in the squad and playing with the senior players will make him a better player.

His next part of the development will be to impress his manager in training and make the best use of whatever opportunity that comes his way.

Kelly is a technically good midfielder and he is among the fittest players in the squad.

Gerrard has shown that he is ready to blood in young talents if they are good enough, and Kelly can expect to be involved at some point during this season.

In other Rangers news, contract talks with ‘Outstanding’ ace reach impasse, player may join PL club