Liverpool’s transfer policy over a Bristol City flop has been questioned by a club ambassador.
However, he turned his form around on loan at Rangers last season, and the Gers were keen to take him back for this season.
Yet Liverpool are only willing to sell Kent, with an asking price said to be around £12m.
That is too much for Rangers to afford, and Leeds also pulled out of a late move for the winger, and it has left former Scotland defender and Liverpool ambassador Gary Gillespie questioning the sense in keeping Kent at Anfield.
He told the Daily Record: “I saw the Old Firm game at Ibrox where Ryan Kent was arguably the best player on the park at Ibrox in December.
“And then he scored against Celtic at Parkhead so it won’t satisfy him to go from that to playing in front of 150 people for the Under-23s.
“The boy is better than playing at Under-23 level which won’t do him any good whatsoever. Liverpool probably expected to sell him and have that money to spend on other players.
“It’s a little bit of a shame for him because he’s probably not good enough to get into Liverpool’s first team but they want money for him as opposed to letting him go out on loan.
“Liverpool were reportedly looking for £12 million so it’s a big transfer fee and I’m not 100 per cent sure how Liverpool benefit from having a player of his ability in the Under-23s.
“I was a bit surprised Jurgen Klopp didn’t let him go to Rangers but he obviously wanted the revenue from his sale rather than loan him out.
“Steven was pretty open about the fact he wanted him back at Ibrox after such a good season last year but the financial constraints at Ibrox probably dictated that a loan move was the only option.
“Liverpool might reconsider their position now that the English transfer window has closed and they haven’t sold him because it’s way better than playing in the Under-23s.
“I’m not sure who gains from him playing in the Under-23s – certainly not Ryan, Liverpool or Rangers. Liverpool will probably have to sit down with Ryan and his representatives sooner rather than later and see where the opportunities lie.”
With Harry Wilson having left Anfield for Bournemouth, Gillespie says he cannot see the sense in keeping Kent at Anfield.
“The irony is that Liverpool let Harry Wilson go on loan to Bournemouth so that’s a strange one. He’s at a similar stage in his career, so I’m not quite sure what the difference is.
“Harry Wilson was pretty successful at Derby County last season and Ryan was a success at Rangers but I don’t see the difference between the two lads.
“Ryan is a good player and would certainly enhance Rangers’ starting XI but he’s a Liverpool player and they call the tune.
“It’s not as if he’s a Lionel Messi or a huge name who can force the issue as we’ve seen so often with superstars who play up and get their agents to agitate for a move.
“But after what he experienced with Rangers last season he’s at the age where he needs to be playing on a regular basis for a big club and not just for the Under-23s.”
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