Why are Rangers REALLY signing Liam Kelly?

Why are Rangers REALLY signing Liam Kelly?
MOTHERWELL, SCOTLAND - OCTOBER 31: Joe Aribo of Rangers shoots whilst under pressure from Liam Kelly of Motherwell during the Cinch Scottish Premiership match between Motherwell FC and Rangers FC at Fir Park on October 31, 2021 in Motherwell, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

The imminent return of ex-Rangers goalkeeper Liam Kelly really is a combination of shocking, bewildering, and slightly bizarre.

Groomed originally as Allan McGregor’s successor, he instead ended up quitting completely for Queens Park Rangers and did alright, ok, passable, decently down there at Loftus Park for Mark Warburton.

He lost his place though and found himself signing permanently for Motherwell, and has been there ever since.

Naturally we have the usual nonsense from ‘people who know him’ citing that he’s an incredible goalie and will be coming to Rangers to seize the number one jersey. That doozy was from his ex-boss Graham Alexander.

The fact is if Liam Kelly was good enough to be Rangers’ goalie he wouldn’t have borderline failed at Championship QPR, and he wouldn’t be sitting in midtable mediocrity with Motherwell.

The signing of him is just odd.

Because we already have him. Robby McCrorie is almost exactly the same goalie as Kelly, and on the same path, albeit a year younger – once Kelly left, McCrorie then replaced him as McGregor’s ‘natural successor’ but that ultimately didn’t happen either, and McGregor ended up playing on, deputised by the rank abysmal Jon McLaughlin.

All the while, Kelly was at Motherwell, doing ok, but hardly being headhunted by either Rangers, Celtic or any Premier League clubs.

Think of McGregor by comparison – he left Rangers and ended up in the Premier League, because he was that good. He did also feature when they were relegated, but he got around 50 appearances at that level.

And that is the level of a Rangers goalie. Our review of Jack Butland may have verged on quite harsh, but he is a Rangers-level goalie, even if he falls a mite short of Goram and Greegs’ levels.

Kelly? The signing of him has to be replace someone, and admittedly all three Rangers goalies are vulnerable to exit, McLaughlin definitely off, McCrorie possibly off, and Butland vulnerable to a sale.

Are we really grooming Kelly as a number one?

We guess, ultimately, we don’t know the endgame on this signing, and we’ve been told by everyone he ain’t coming as a deputy.

Maybe he has a stunning hidden level to raise his game to, but he’s surely not a number one? And McCrorie would be devastated to be number 2 to Kelly given they’re literally peers. He would surely 100% leave if Kelly was installed new number one of all things.

It’s just a very strange signing whose place we don’t grasp. Unless McCrorie is definitely leaving, with whispers of Aberdeen, and even then, it doesn’t quite fit, because we’re told Kelly ain’t settling for the deputy shirt. Right?

Curious signing really.

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