By George Overhill

18th Sep, 2022 | 8:40am

Kenny Miller wants surprise Rangers move with out of form Ryan Kent

Rangers have to sign Ryan Kent to a new deal despite his poor form because he was an expensive asset that must be protected says Kenny Miller.

The English winger has not been at his best of late as the whole side have struggled through a run of heavy defeats to Celtic, Ajax and Napoli, before labouring to a 2-1 win over Dundee United on Saturday (17 September).

A new contract has been in the offing for some months with the 25-year-old but has not yet materialised despite him now being firmly into his final year, but Miller is adamant the club need to tie him down to a long-term deal.

Writing in his Daily Record column the former Ibrox striker said: “How do you solve a problem like Ryan Kent? If I was Giovanni van Bronckhorst or the Rangers board, I’d start by getting him tied down on a new long-term contract.

“That might surprise a few people given his and the team’s current form. But, with just eight months left on his deal, the club simply can’t afford to willingly allow a player of his ability and value to walk out the door for nothing.

“First and foremost, they have to protect their asset. Remember, Rangers invested £7million in Kent in 2019. That was a lot of money for a young player with limited experience.

“But Steven Gerrard knew his potential. The board put their trust in his judgement and that’s why they paid out the biggest transfer fee for a player in 15 years. So now, they should be doing everything in their power to ensure he doesn’t leave for free.”

Disappointing

Kent has been under the spotlight lately because on his day he is one of the club’s best players, and the fact that he has been so far off the pace has made the recent defeats all the more glaring.

Much has been made of his output, and goal-wise he is undoubtedly flattering to deceive over the past year, but his assists are reasonably strong and he wins his fair share of penalties.

As long as it is not on extortionate wages then it would certainly be the right move for the club to get him signed to a new deal, whether his long-term future is at Ibrox or not.

There was a question as to whether it would have made sense to let him go in the summer while there was the chance at a small fee, but on form he would be worth more playing in this side for another season.

Yet currently he is nowhere near that form, and it is hard to escape the conclusion that his contract situation is proving somewhat of a distraction.

If an agreement can be reached sooner rather than later it would make sense for both sides, so he can get back to his best form and play himself into a move in the same way Calvin Bassey did, if that is what he has his eye on.

At this point it is surprising that a new deal hasn’t been signed, and the longer it drags on the more likely it is that a damp squib of a final year in Glasgow ends with him leaving for nothing, which would be the worst of all worlds for the Gers.

In other Rangers news, Jamie Carragher blithely dismisses the size of the Ibrox manager’s job as he asked Steven Gerrard about Aston Villa pressure.