Liverpool winger Ryan Kent is reportedly trying to force through a return to Rangers on loan and could even declare himself unavailable for selection to make it happen.
The Daily Record reported that the 22-year-old is set to plead with Liverpool to allow him to rejoin the Scottish Premiership club, having spent last season on loan at Ibrox, but manager Jurgen Klopp has vetoed any such deal.
According to the Daily Record, Kent has been valued at £7m by his current club, and with Rangers unable to come up with that fee, they are hoping to strike the compromise of a loan deal with a view to buying the player outright at the end of the season.
The Daily Record claimed that the winger is prepared to “down tools” to force through a return to Glasgow, adding that he was not in Liverpool’s under-23 squad for their game against Chelsea last Monday despite apparently being fully fit.
Kent featured in five pre-season games for Liverpool and made an impression in some of those, with The Scotsman alluding to a “brilliant dummy” in the Reds’ match against Borussia Dortmund last month.
Klopp also hailed the youngster’s contribution upon returning from his 2018/19 loan spell at Rangers, saying: “Ryan has improved a hell of a lot. He came back a completely different player.” [via The Scotsman]
However, the 22-year-old has not been included in the matchday squad for any of Liverpool’s competitive first-team games so far this season, whereas fellow young attacker Rhian Brewster was on the bench for the UEFA Super Cup clash against Chelsea.
Kent scored six goals and provided nine assists in 43 games for Rangers last season, an average of one goal per 7.17 appearances and an assist every 4.78 matches.
Those figures were some way behind the 27 and 26 goals notched by Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane respectively in 2018/19, with the Egypt forward already scoring once this season and the Senegal man netting three times in his last two games.
Xherdan Shaqiri, another of Liverpool’s wingers, ended last season with six goals and five assists in 30 appearances, his one goal per five games a better average than Kent’s at Rangers.
Kent may have been named the PFA Scotland Young Player of the Year last season, but his scoring statistics pale in comparison with Salah and Mane and are also inferior to Shaqiri’s.
He has still made only one competitive appearance for Liverpool’s first team and that was back in 2016. Although he may feel frustrated at not getting opportunities at Anfield since then, his output hasn’t been good enough to merit regular inclusion.
Also, if it’s true that he is ready to down tools in order to force an exit from Liverpool, he should just be allowed to go. With that attitude and an unspectacular goal involvements record, the Reds wouldn’t miss him.
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