Liverpool Echo

Liverpool winger Ryan Kent stars against Bradford and could save trip into the transfer market

Liverpool Echo logo Liverpool Echo 14/07/2019 18:19:50 Ian Doyle
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Ryan Kent knows the value of a good pre-season.

Two years ago, the Liverpool winger announced himself to the wider world with an impressive cameo from the bench in the Audi Cup victory over Bayern Munich in the Allianz Arena.

One piece of clever footwork and turn of pace did for the experienced Rafinha, with only the offside flag preventing the move being finished by a wonder striker from Marko Grujic.

Nevertheless, it was enough to capture the attention of Bundesliga side Freiburg, who took the youngster on loan.

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It didn't quite work out, Kent returning early to Anfield. Nor did it at Bristol City later that campaign, where his appearances were so infrequent the Championship side were penalised as part of their agreement with Liverpool.

Last season again saw Kent again loaned out, this time reunited with Steven Gerrard at Rangers.

This time, the winger prospered, a regular down the left wing, finishing with six goals and nine assists in 43 appearances and gaining valuable experience in the Europa League.

a group of men playing football on a field: Ryan Kent in action at Tranmere © Getty ImagesRyan Kent in action at Tranmere

He even decked wind-up merchant Scott Brown shortly after having scored in March's Old Firm derby, fulfilling the dream of many an opponent of the Celtic skipper.

Such progress did not pass unnoticed. "He is at Glasgow Rangers and that works really well because Ryan is a fantastic football player and still very young," said Klopp, speaking in January.

Indeed, it was Klopp who gave Kent his first and so far only Liverpool appearance in the scratch FA Cup team at Exeter City in January 2016.

Whether the winger is capable of adding to that tally - and saving the club a possible trip into the transfer market in the process - is what the Reds boss is now assessing have resisted, at least initially, attempts from Rangers to take the player back on loan.

Kent was quiet in the romp at Tranmere Rovers on Thursday. At Bradford, though, a capacity crowd saw what the fuss was all about.

Once more mining the left flank, the winger appeared far more confident, running at the home defence at every opportunity.

Rangers manager and Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard with loanee Ryan Kent © Ian MacNicol/Getty ImagesRangers manager and Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard with loanee Ryan Kent

What's more, he made a difference. From a short corner, Kent cut the ball back for James Milner to fire in the opener via James Vaughan's head, and then moments later was brought down by Sean Scannell inside the area to earn the penalty from which Milner scored the second.

Kent, too, contributed to the third, again racing inside the area before rolling the ball across to the incoming Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, whose blocked shot was converted from an acute angle by Rhian Brewster.

With Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane absent and Xherdan Shaqiri injured, the next few weeks, starting with the US tour, represent a real opportunity.

Borussia Dortmund, Sevilla and Sporting Lisbon will represent a significant step up in class. But as Kent demonstrated two years ago, bigger rivals can bring the best out of him.

14. heinäkuuta 2019 21:19:50 Categories: Liverpool Echo Nyheter24

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