Some Rangers fans have been urging the club to retain the services of talented Academy playmaker Stephen Kelly despite comments from Michael Beale about players going out on loan.

The 21-year-old midfielder spent last season on loan at Scottish Premiership Ross County and impressed in the Scottish top-flight after a season with Ayr United in the Championship.

Tranmere Rovers v Glasgow Rangers  - Pre-Season Friendly

Rangers fans were impressed with Stephen Kelly despite the club falling to a 1-0 defeat against Tranmere. (Photo by Lewis Storey/Getty Images)

There has been a clear progression in the youngster’s game and fans have been very impressed with Stephen’s contribution so far in pre-season.

The midfielder got more minutes under his belt for Rangers and seems to be a capable player and understudy to Northern Irish veteran Steven Davis.

However, whilst there have been calls to keep Kelly in the squad you can see why the Ibrox club would benefit from the youngster going out again.

The midfielder would get another year under his belt and – going by the early progression in his Ibrox career – come back in an even better position to challenge for a spot in the first team.

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There’s also the potential for Kelly to play at a higher level than the Staggies and Rangers are preparing to send some names out, as confirmed by Mick Beale.

Rangers Dundee United v Ross County - Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership

Stephen Kelly played 25 times for Ross County in the Scottish Premiership last season. (Photo by Ross MacDonald/SNS Group via Getty Images)

“The current squad [at first-team training] is a split of first-team players, Academy and players who’ll go on loan so we’ve still got around 12 or 13 players to come back in and start training,” said Beale [RangersTV].

But with Rangers potentially on the hunt for another midfielder – despite the signing of John Lundstram this week – if the club cannot get the right name over the line, many fans feel Kelly could step in as a backup playmaker.

It’s a big step up for the player but for many Rangers fans they have seen enough early promise that if required Kelly could rub shoulders with the biggest names at the club:

 

Despite Kelly impressing once again the Ibrox side fell to a disappointing 1-0 defeat to Tranmere Rovers in their second match of pre-season.

Rangers boss Steven Gerrard has sent a warning to his players that from here on out they must “impress” in the coming weeks or risk missing out this season

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