FORMER Scotland skipper Gary McAllister reckons Ryan Kent has fired himself into Gareth Southgate’s international reckoning.

The Rangers assistant boss has been impressed by the new campaign’s performances from the winger, who cost £7million from Liverpool last season and who has attracted attention from Leeds United in this transfer window.

Kent starred in the side’s 4-0 Europa League qualifying win over Willem II in Holland on Thursday when he won a penalty for James Tavernier’s opener, set up another for Filip Helander and also netted his fifth goal of the term.

The victory leaves the Gers with a home game on Thursday against Turkish aces Galatasaray as they battle for a place in the group stages of the competition.

McAllister, Steven Gerrard’s No.2, believes the form of the forward will not have gone unnoticed with the England boss.

Speaking to Sky Sports News, he said: “I’d agree that he is very exciting at the moment and playing with a lot of confidence.

“What I would say is that when he’s performing the way he did against a team from Holland – Williem II are a good side who are in the Europa League on merit – then he must be getting close.

“There is a push towards younger players with the England set-up under Gareth Southgate.

“And Ryan is exciting. I don’t want to be shouting from the rooftops, but there is a player here who is in really good form.”

The Thursday triumph also saw goalkeeper Allan McGregor perform impressively as he was restored to the No.1 position instead of Jon McLaughlin.

McAllister refused to offer up any hints as to whether the 38-year-old netminder would retain his place when the side travel to Fir Park to face Motherwell tomorrow afternoon for the High Noon kick-off.

He added: “In the early stages of the game in Holland, I thought Allan made a wonderful save and then in the second-half he made another couple of great saves.

“Coming back in, I thought he showed a real strong mentality. He’s a guy who plays with pure emotion and passion, passion for this club.

“His ability to make a crucial save has served us really, really well in these European campaigns and he seems to have done it on quite a few away grounds.

“As far as moving forwards is concerned, the fact is we’ve got two very good goalkeepers. They have both proven they can cope with this level.”


About Author


Acclaimed author Alex Gordon wrote the biography of Scotland international legend Denis Law, entitled 'King and Country'. He is a former columnist with World Soccer magazine and Scottish correspondent of respected European journal L'Equipe.

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