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Gary McAllister believes Ryan Kent is pushing himself into England reckoning

Rangers v Dundee United – Scottish Premiership – Ibrox Park
(Image credit: Ian Rutherford)

Gary McAllister reckons Rangers winger Ryan Kent has fired himself onto England boss Gareth Southgate’s radar with his stunning start to the season.

The former Liverpool ace won a penalty, set up a goal for Filip Helander and also netted his fifth goal of the campaign during Thursday night’s 4-0 Europa League mauling of Williem II.

It was another hugely impressive display from Gers’ £7million man and assistant boss McAllister believes that will not have gone unnoticed with the Three Lions boss.

The former Scotland captain said: “I’d agree that he is very exciting at the moment and playing with a lot of confidence.

“What I would say is that when he’s performing the way he did against a team from Holland – Williem II are a good side who are in the Europa League on merit – then he must be getting close.

“There is a push towards younger players with the England set-up under Gareth Southgate.

“And Ryan is exciting. I don’t want to be shouting from the rooftops but there is a player here who is in really good form.”

The triumph in Tilburg also saw Allan McGregor perform heroics as he was restored to Steven Gerrard’s line-up for just his third run out of the new season.

He made a stunning block to preserve Gers’ two-goal lead just before half-time and followed it up with another pair of vital stops as Rangers ran up a crushing win with goals from James Tavernier, Kent, Helander and Connor Goldson.

But McAllister refused to offer up any hints as to whether the 38-year-old would retain his slot ahead of Jon McLaughlin for this weekend’s trip to Motherwell.

“In the early stages of the game I thought Allan made a wonderful save and then in the second half he made another couple of great saves.

“Coming back in, I thought he showed a real strong mentality.

“He’s a guy who plays with pure emotion and passion, passion for this club.

“His ability to make a crucial save has served us really, really well in these European campaigns and he seems to have done it on quite a few away grounds.

“As far as moving forwards is concerned, the fact is we’ve got two very good goalkeepers. They have both proven they can cope with this level.”

The Light Blues’ Dutch masterclass has teed up a winner-takes-all tie with Galatasaray at Ibrox to decide who reaches the group stages.

But first Rangers head to Fir Park and McAllister knows the Ibrox men have no margin for error after being held to a 2-2 draw at Hibernian last Sunday.

He said: “Motherwell have changed their style in the last year or so, they are moving the ball very well.

“But that shift back from European football to domestic football, back to the bread and butter, where we have got to get the right reaction after the travel, getting the a positive result and coming back down to reality and get all three points.

“It will be tough as Fir Park is a tough place to go.

“But what I would say is we’re well-versed in this. We’ve now had two and a bit seasons of coping with the Europa League.

“We’ve had some real positive results in some tough places.

“So the fact is the players have managed that previously. It’s a big learning curve but I thought that last night we looked like a team happy and who could cope at that level.

“But we’ve got to turn the attention immediately to Motherwell as it’s a big game for us and we want to keep that run going.”