BEING a Rangers player, or playing at any top club for that matter, is not for the faint-hearted. With a little help from some familiar faces, Ryan Kent is slowly coming around to that fact.

The winger, on loan at Ibrox from Liverpool, is naturally shy. But Gary McAllister says that by coaxing the 22-year-old out of his shell, the Rangers caching team have been able to coax the best form out of the player and increase his confidence on the pitch.

While there was never any doubting his talent, the question marks around his mentality are now also ebbing away as he consistently dazzles from his station on the left wing.

“When Brendan [Rodgers] brought me back to Liverpool, they had just gone to Australia so I went and caught up with them,” said Rangers assistant, McAllister.

“Ryan was part of the pre-season squad, so that was the first time I had come across him.

“He was obviously electric, and I could see how some of the loan moves he had had helped, because he was young and raw. But you could see the massive potential.

“I can also see the benefits of him having Michael Beale, Steven Gerrard, Tommy Coulson, Jordan Milsom - and I was there for that short period - so the biggest difference here is he has four or five familiar faces [from Liverpool]. He’s gone from someone with the confidence levels of quite a shy young man, to someone who has become a man.

“He’s blossomed, and that reflects on the pitch. His performance levels have gone up with the experience and the demands of playing in front of a big crowd.

“He’s playing at a club where you’re continually under the microscope. Every game is broken down the way they are south of the border, purely because you’re part of the Old Firm.

“You can’t go 10 minutes coming off the boil at clubs like this, whereas at other clubs you can go under the radar and one game in three might be enough.”

Such has been the impressive form of Kent, that Rangers would very much like to explore the possibility of keeping him in Scotland on a longer-term basis. But the better he plays, the harder that becomes.

“The fact is that he’s a Liverpool player, and we can’t really dictate that at this moment in time,” McAllister said. “It’s a decision for Liverpool, isn’t it? They’re very much aware of what he is doing here.

“The transfer market south of the border is berserk. You’re even looking at crazy numbers for players going into the Championship, never mind the top flight.

“The facts are that after Ryan Kent’s name, it’s Liverpool/Rangers on loan. So, he’s their player, but I’ve seen a massive change in him.

“He’s a delight to work with. He’s a fantastic trainer, [he’s] great around here.

“It’s nice to see someone I’ve known for a few years blossoming into somebody who can be pretty special.”