The Lowdown: Kent’s future up in the air
The 26-year-old has been one of the Light Blues’ most prominent players in recent years, standing out as a crucial attacking figure and being described as ‘sensational‘ by his former boss Steven Gerrard.
That has led to speculation surrounding the Englishman’s future, with a number of English and German clubs thought to be eyeing up a move for him.
The Latest: Kent backed to stay at Rangers
Speaking to Football Insider, Whelan has backed Kent to remain at Rangers beyond January, before making a decision over his future next summer.
The 47-year-old said:
“Ryan Kent is in the driving seat, in my opinion. There has been a lot of noise about him coming back to the Premier League or a different challenge. He has reached the point in his contract where he might just want to see it through.
“Then he can have a little change of direction and see what happens. With his situation, there could be offers in January but it wouldn’t surprise me if he did stay until the end of the season so he can properly assess his options as a free agent.
“There will be clubs interested, we know that. There have been links before. He becomes an even more attractive prospect as a free agent too.
“So it’s one to keep an eye on but Kent has all the power in this one.”
The Verdict: Big decision next summer
Losing Kent in January would undeniably be a blow for Rangers, given his influence, and while receiving a fee for him would be financially prudent instead of him exiting for free, keeping hold of him makes far more sense.
The hope is that the winger signs a new deal before the end of the campaign, committing his long-term future to the club, but it does feel as though he could be eyeing up a fresh challenge elsewhere.
Kent’s form has admittedly been patchy this season, with only one goal coming his way in 13 league appearances, but he has done enough throughout his time at Rangers to justify an effort to retain from the Ibrox hierarchy.