By Alex McLeish

4th Sep, 2020 | 7:00am

McLeish Exclusive: I've changed my mind on Ryan Kent after Leeds bid for Rangers ace

Alex McLeish has been totally won over by Ryan Kent and claimed the attacker has been “empowered” by Leeds United trying to sign him from Rangers this summer.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former treble-winning Ibrox manager claimed he had previously been “unconvinced” the 23-year-old could be a consistent matchwinner for Steven Gerrard’s side.

But McLeish believes Kent has taken his game to a new level for Rangers this season.

And the 61-year-old claims Leeds’ interest – which led to a £10million rejected bid from Leeds last month – has been a key factor in that improvement.

“The talk of him leaving, I was yet to kind of be convinced that Ryan was going to
put it all together and set the whole league alight,” McLeish told Football Insider.

“Just watching him, in the Livingston game and last week against Hamilton, he was really, really effective. There’s definitely a spring in his step.

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“He’s probably been empowered by the fact that there are teams out there looking at him as well, Leeds United in the Premier League now, I think he’s pledged his allegiances to Rangers in the meantime but you saw what he did at Celtic Park last season and if he plays to that level, the expectations will be on him to give that level every single game.

Kent has started all six of Rangers’ SPL matches this season, scoring three goals and supplying two assists.

Now in his third season at Ibrox, he is playing some of the best football of a career that yielded the Scottish young player of the year gong after his debut campaign.

In other Rangers news, Alan Hutton has told a defender to join a new club for next season as Ibrox terms agreed.