Rangers supporters will see “a new player” in a fully fit and refreshed Ryan Kent after the international break.
That is the verdict of ex-Aberdeen striker Noel Whelan, speaking exclusively to Football Insider about the club’s second-most expensive signing ahead of the return of the domestic programme.
The winger, who turned 23 last week, has had a stop-start campaign after he followed his protracted £7.5million transfer by breaking down with a hamstring injury in his first match.
Kent has made only seven appearances in his second season at Ibrox but started three consecutive games before the international break and showed signs he is getting back to his best.
The signing from Liverpool produced a dazzling performance in the memorable 2-0 Europa League win against Porto, which was sandwiched between starts against Hearts and Livingston.
“Ryan Kent’s had a difficult season so far, with the move and the injury,” Whelan told Football Insider. “He came back too early and paid the price for that.
“But you could see against Porto he was starting to get back to his best. His dribbling, ball carrying, quick feet and ability to change direction are top class and he offers something totally different to the other Rangers players.
“He will be working more on his fitness during the break. You’re going to see a new player at Ibrox after it. No doubt about that.
“Ryan Kent’s going to be an outstanding player if he listens to Stevie Gerrard and does the right things.”
Kent has yet to score for Rangers this season after his season on loan ended with him winning the Scottish young player of the year award.
He will be looking for his fourth start in a row when Gerrard’s side return to action with Sunday’s SPL visit to Hamilton.