By Alan Hutton

14th Jul, 2021 | 2:19pm

Hutton tips Kelly for first-team promotion after 'speaking to people at Rangers'

Alan Hutton has suggested Steven Gerrard is “definitely” considering moving Stephen Kelly into the Rangers first team after a bright start to pre-season.

The former Gers defender, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, admitted he was seriously impressed with what he had seen from and heard about the 21-year-old.

Kelly has played in both of Rangers’ pre-season games so far, including the second half versus Tranmere Rovers.

The youngster has returned to Ibrox this summer after a loan spell at Ross County last term.

Hutton, who watched the 1-0 defeat to Tranmere, singled out Kelly as one of the standout performers.

He revealed he was hearing exciting things from those he knows at Ibrox.

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Asked for his standout performer against Tranmere, Hutton told Football Insider’s Russell Edge: “I thought Stephen Kelly again. He was very good.

“I think he’s just bubbling along very nicely. Obviously, he played his part in the Partick Thistle game.

“Whenever I speak to people at Ibrox, it’s always: ‘He’s very comfortable on the ball. He keeps things ticking over.’

“What he did that impressed me was he was willing to pass forward. Break the lines with the passing to get in behind the defence for cross balls into the box.

“It was really good. For one so young, he’s obviously hungry, ready to prove himself.

“Midfield is an area where Rangers are strong. They’ve brought in players that are going to compete and challenge to get in the team.

“It’s going to be difficult for him. If he keeps continuing to impress the way has, he’ll definitely be in the thoughts of the manager.”

In other news, Hutton gutted as player discipline issues reported at Rangers amid exit reveal.