Following such a brilliant pre-season, once again another Auchenhowie rising star finds themselves axed to the bench come the serious action, and this time Hearts and Hibs are interested in exploiting Stephen Kelly’s position with attempts to take him on loan.
The midfielder, drawing comparisons with Barry Ferguson and Steven Davis, has found himself unable to get much headway since pre-season ended and is like Nathan Patterson in occupying the sidelines.
Of course, who do Rangers drop to fit Kelly in? Of course, many could argue it’s a team game and not about dropping anyone, but rotating effectively. Steven Davis hasn’t been his magnificent best this season and there would be no harm resting him for the 21-year old who is teetering close to becoming another Ross McCrorie, but this manager doesn’t really work that way.
Instead Davis, like other favourites (justified or not) always start and rising talent like Kelly doesn’t get much of a look in.
As such, for his development, he is indeed better off making a loan switch. In truth, it 99.99% means he isn’t making it at Ibrox, with the loan rule (no Rangers loanee under SG has ever returned to win a first team place) prominent in the memory, and that’s a shame.
He’s at an age now where he’d want to be breaking through, but it never happens at Rangers because we don’t trust our youth.
So instead Hearts or Hibs would benefit from his talent, and we’d be more than likely to have seen the Rangers last of Kelly.
Maybe one of these days a talented youth player will be allowed to express themselves in the first team and given a real run.