Former Kilmarnock coach Kenny Shiels believes that Rangers winger Barrie McKay is good enough to force a move to the Premier League, and would light up England’s top flight given the chance.

The 22-year-old coached the youngster at his former club and even gave him first team football during a loan spell from Ibrox at Morton during 2014.

Now managing Derry City in the League of Ireland, he told the Daily Record of his disbelief that McKay hasn’t been snapped up by a club south of the border.

“He has great ability,” he commented, “and I’m really surprised that there haven’t been Premier League clubs in England looking at him because he is the one Scottish player playing in the Scottish Premiership that you’d say: ‘I’d like to go and watch him.’

“He’s brave on the ball and that’s something he’s always had. He’s a natural footballer and a tremendous player.”

Shiels’ son Dean played with the wide-man while Rangers were fighting their way through the leagues in 2012.

He believes that in McKay Mark Warburton has a player at his disposal who would walk into Brendan Rodgers’ Celtic side across the city.

“He’s every bit as good as Celtic’s attacking players in the wide areas.

“Folk might wonder about that but I’d say he’s ahead of James Forrest and Patrick Roberts in terms of what he can bring to a team. His change of pace is better, his ability with the ball is better.”

McKay has made 27 appearances this season, scoring on three occasions and was a stand-out performer in their 2-1 Old Firm derby defeat on New Year’s Eve.

Rangers will be hoping they can keep hold of the youngster during the January transfer window as they look to close the 19-point gap on their rivals Celtic in the Scottish Premiership.


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