Rangers have been dealt a blow recently with the news that one of their brightest academy prospects, Kai Kennedy, looks set to be on his way out of Ibrox after seemingly rejecting the offer of a new contract.
The Scotland youth international has a bright future but it now appears to be away from Rangers and former Premier League striker, Noel Whelan, speaking to Football Insider, believes that the Light Blues hierarchy must take a share of the blame.
So what has Whelan said?
When asked about the stand off between the two parties, Whelan said:
“I’m not sure with some signings whether it’s the young player, I sometimes think it’s the agent, they kind of know what players, young players, are on at other clubs.
“Sometimes it just doesn’t fit the bill for the bigger clubs, maybe they feel he should be privileged to be at Rangers and if you do well enough over the next couple of seasons, you will be rewarded with that kind of money.
“I do feel young players are given far too much money very soon, sometimes they can lose that desire, lose that focus so maybe that’s what they were thinking about.
“I’m very surprised they’ve left it to a year to sign these young superstars and start negotiating contracts, that should have been done two seasons ago.”
So is Whelan correct?
The truth will probably lie somewhere in the middle, Kennedy – and his agent – will probably want to be paid as one of the biggest prospects at the club especially after Gerrard described him as “fabulous” just last season, however, Rangers will still see him as an academy player until he is regularly featuring in match day squads.
It then becomes an issue of setting a precedent, if Kennedy gets paid the same as some of the first-team players, other members of the youth set up will want to be paid the same, if Gerrard and his coaching staff really value him, they would want to sanction the pay rise, regardless of the cost.
With the Gers gaffer stating that he only wants players that are committed to the club, he is drawing a line in the sand for those hoping to make the grade, however, Whelan has a valid point – when Kennedy was first called up to the senior squad, the club should have made more of an effort to tie him down to a longer deal which would have prevented the current problem, hindsight is a beautiful thing.