GLEN KAMARA has come a long way – for both club and country – in a short period. Right now, he finds himself in the right place at the right time.

His career has not been without setbacks but the manner in which Kamara has improved and impressed says much about his mentality as well as his ability.

When he started out at Arsenal, he would have dreamt of the kind of opportunities that he now has at Rangers. Having stopped off at Southend, Colchester and then Dundee, he has earned the right to shine for Rangers and Finland.

His game has undoubtedly been fine-tuned in the 12 months that he has been tutored by Steven Gerrard. A fee of just £50,000 was paid to bring him to Ibrox last January but one well into the millions would be required if any of the potential suitors look to do business.


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Gerrard won’t court any offers for the 24-year-old and former Finland boss Mixu Paatelainen reckons Kamara will feel like Ibrox is home sweet home at present.

“For any youngster at the Arsenal Academy, it is very hard to break through and get a first team contract,” Paatelainen said. “You can understand why that happens, there are loads of good players who come through and don’t get a contract with Arsenal.

“I think what he did well was go to Dundee, a club where he had a realistic chance to play and he learned a lot by playing. He took the opportunity with both hands, merited the move to Rangers and he hasn’t looked back.

“Working with Steven Gerrard has helped him 100 per cent, 100 per cent. He was a world class midfielder and working with someone like that can only help you develop as a player and he will get the know-how and the advice that he needs to develop and improve.

“He is still a young player so there are plenty of development years ahead for him. All things being equal, I can see him going on in the game and developing more and Steven Gerrard will have a part to play in that. Working with him is a fantastic opportunity.”

Kamara had doubters to win over when he first made the move from Dens Park to Ibrox but he has done so with relative ease. His performances – both domestically and in European competition - have spoken for themselves and he has become an integral part of Gerrard’s side once again this term.

That form has been translated onto the international stage and Kamara and his Huuhkajat team-mates will make his history when Finland make their first appearance at the European Championships this summer.


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Belgium, Denmark and Russia await the Finns after they qualified second in Group J behind Italy to end their long wait for an invite to a major tournament.

It was Paatelainen that handed Kamara his first call-up to the national squad for the friendly with Estonia in 2015. Two years later, Markku Kanerva gave him his debut against the same opposition and he hasn’t looked back since.

Paatelainen said: “He has been brilliant for Finland and his technical ability and passing ability are crucial for the team and even though he doesn’t have masses of experience he is a very confident lad.

“He is a quite lad, but he is a confident player on the pitch and he has been instrumental for Finland and very important in the midfield. He is fantastic and he is someone who can unlock defences and also keep the ball and be solid. He has been very important.

“He is a fantastic character. He is quiet, a model professional, and on the pitch he is very confident and he doesn’t shy away from the responsibility of making things happen.

“He has been very good and he is very level-headed, that is how I would describe him. He has done well in his career so far and he can go on as well.”

Only time will tell how far Kamara can go in the game but his immediate focus won’t stretch beyond the second half of the campaign at Ibrox.

The likes of Crystal Palace, Brighton and Sheffield United have all been linked with the midfielder and a move to the Premier League would surely appeal at some stage.

But there is plenty to play for with Rangers at present as Gerrard’s side set their sights on the Premiership title and Scottish Cup and look to prolong their run in the Europa League.

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Paatelainen said: “That will be down to Rangers because he is contacted to Rangers and obviously Glen and his advisors as well. They know what he will do next.

“But I think where he is at the moment is the best place for him. He is at a big club, he is playing European football and he is a regular player in a starting line-up that is doing very well. He is developing all the time under a great manager that played in his position so things are looking very good for him right now.

“Of course, it is always interesting if there are clubs looking at you but I think it is important to realise that maybe two or three more years and then you look at things.

“But, I am nobody to tell him or decide for him. It will be down to him and his advisors and Rangers and I wish him well for the future.”