Steven Gerrard made a very, very intriguing statement at the weekend about Stephen Kelly, and it certainly got our attention.
This we find a very, very telling comment.
Stephen Kelly’s loans were at Ayr Utd and Ross County, and Stevie G has for the first time as Rangers manager criticised loans, or the quality of them, and sought instead to have the player at Ibrox.
Stevie is clear – he believes the loans were a waste of time, and he wants Kelly to be at Auchenhowie, training with the likes of Davis and Kamara, to improve his own level.
Now, this is such a loaded statement.
It’s loaded because previously Gerrard was all about getting a player minutes to improve his development, and it’s even more fascinating because in the very same press conference he regales Robby McCrorie’s loans as being the right path despite the fact they were exactly the same level as Kelly’s and McCrorie could have been training at Auchenhowie alongside Allan McGregor.
What does all this mean?
Potentially that different plans are used for different players, and in Kelly’s case, Gerrard underestimated his quality until watching him pre-season. It became clear, it seems, that this kid was far too good to go out on loan, and following Nnambi Oboforh’s health issues, that position is a little light at the moment and lacks Ryan Jack too.
What does the future hold for Kelly? What we would say is Stevie’s comments allude to our observations in a previous entry. Stevie says what he says for reasons known only to him – sometimes he’s purely honest, others he says something inconsistent with known facts. And there’ll be legitimate reasons for why he’s said it.
So we couldn’t guess the future for Kelly – but we are extremely pleased that he and McCrorie are staying in the first-team squad and might just finally be exceptions to the loan rule under Gerrard.
Time will tell.