Rangers Review journalist Jonny McFarlane has raised concern for the club’s emerging talent.
Steven Davis recently signed a one-year extension to continue at the club at 37, and while the Northern Ireland captain will maintain a level of professionalism and experience within the club, having made 344 appearances for the Gers, McFarlane is worried about what that means for the younger midfield players coming through.
One of those is 22-year-old Stephen Kelly, who spent the second half of the recent campaign on loan at Salford City in England’s League Two.
He was limited to just four games for the Light Blues before heading down south, and with just a year left on his Ibrox deal, McFarlane has questioned whether or not he has a future at the club.
Speaking on the Rangers Review YouTube channel about Davis’ extension, he said: “It surely spells the end for someone like Stephen Kelly coming through.
“You’ve already got Kamara there, Lundstram there, Jack there – that’s four players in that sort of midfield base role and that’s a fair whack. So any kind of youngsters coming into that area – you’ve got Charlie McCann there – I think they’re going to find it tough to get in the team, but that’s life at a big club.”
Would Kelly make your match day squad?
TIF Thoughts on Kelly and Rangers…
The journalist certainly raises a very valid argument, as the chances of an opportunity to feature in the first team appear to be few and far between given the names that Giovanni van Bronckhorst can use.
Scott Arfield, Glen Kamara and John Lundstram have all played at least 30 games under the Dutchman, while Ryan Jack has also been heavily fancied, making 20 appearances since Van Bronckhorst’s arrival, which would suggest that the manager already feels he has a dependable group of players to play in the middle of the park.
Is Steven Davis finished?
The fact that Davis was offered an extension may suggest that the club don’t feel they have an adequate upstart working their way through the ranks, either.
Manchester United academy graduate Charlie McCann is another young enforcer coming through, having played 35 minutes in the Scottish Premiership, but at just 20 and with a contract until 2024, time is more on his side than it is for Kelly.