Rangers manager Steven Gerrard believes that it is too soon to start talking about winger Ryan Kent as a potential England player – and it is not something the player currently needs.
The former Liverpool man was an impressive presence as the Gers thumped Eredivisie outfit Willem II 4-0 away from home on Thursday to book their place in the Europa League play-off round.
Now, though, rather than thinking of the Three Lions, Gerrard wants to see his charge focus on Sunday’s forthcoming Premiership match with Motherwell.
“I think Ryan should just continue to do what he's doing, which is playing well and trying to find that consistency,” he told Sky Sports. “Keep trying to keep the numbers in his games in terms of assists and goals. Everything else will take care of itself.
“I don't think Ryan Kent needs any England headlines right now. I'm sure Gareth is looking at all the talent up and down the country and around Europe, but Ryan Kent just needs to focus on Rangers and keep doing well.
“As a player in my younger days, that's what I tried to do for Liverpool and then international recognition comes naturally if you're performing well for your club.”
The performances of the 23-year-old have attracted a good deal of interest, with Leeds having an offer knocked back by the Ibrox side, who have reiterated that one of their star performers is simply not for sale.
“When you get these exciting players in this form it's only natural that people are watching them from afar, but from our point of view he's not for sale. We don't want him to go and we want him to keep evolving here with us,” Gerrard said.
“He's certainly improving and he's evolving. He's adding different dimensions to his game. He's happy, he's fit and he's looking really sharp. We're really enjoying Ryan's form at the moment. He's bringing some real highs into the team. He was fantastic again [against Willem]. He changed the game for us from an attacking point of view.”
Gerrard’s men can put pressure on Celtic with a win over Motherwell, with the Hoops tackling in-form Hibernian later in the day.