Stephen Kelly will not be leaving Rangers on loan in this current transfer window.
That is the latest update on the midfielder’s situation from Jordan Campbell of The Athletic, posted on Monday afternoon.
Kelly was not part of the squad yesterday as Rangers defeated Old Firm rivals Celtic 1-0.
Understand Stephen Kelly is to remain part of the Rangers first-team squad this season.
21yo midfielder did well in pre-season and is liked by the coaching staff. Faces a tough task to break in with players in front and others like Jack returning but will be around to impress.
— Jordan Campbell (@JordanC1107) August 30, 2021
Competition is fierce in the engine room at Ibrox but given that the youngster is rated by Steven Gerrard and his coaching staff, he will need exposure in the months ahead so that his development does not stagnate.
The likes of Steven Davis, Glen Kamara, Joe Aribo, Ianis Hagi, Scott Arfield and John Lundstram are all senior players and realisitically further ahead of Kelly in the pecking order.
Then there is Ryan Jack to return as well as the recent assition of Juninho Bacuna to the squad.
So where does Stephen Kelly fit in?
Following two productive and fruitful loan spells at Ayr United and Ross County, the 21-year old is now deemed to have the necessary skillset and ability to be an option for Rangers.
Considered by many as the heir apparent to Davis’ throne, it is expected that Kelly will continue to learn and prosper by spending more time in and around the Northern Ireland captain, as well as other senior players, day in, day out at Auchenhowie.
However, that will need to be bolstered with minutes on the pitch at the right time. League cup fixtures and particularly games at Ibrox is where we should see more of the considerable talent of Stephen Kelly.
If he is not to go on loan then it is obvious that the management staff feel that option is in the player’s best interests.
There is also the need for several options due to the potential impact of Covid, as we have seen in recent days.