Young winger Ryan Kent says he is enjoying his time on loan at Barnsley and is relishing the challenge of proving himself in the Championship.
Kent moved to the Tykes for the duration of the season in search of the regular first-team action that wouldn’t have been forthcoming at Anfield.
The move to Oakwell has certainly proven rewarding so far, with the winger featuring 16 times already this season for Paul Heckingbottom’s side, playing primarily as a right winger.
Reflecting on his loan so far, Kent feels the his time in Yorkshire is benefitting him well, with the challenge of the Championship providing an exciting test as he looks to progress his career.
“I’m really enjoying my time here at Barnsley. It’s a Club that can give me an opportunity to play in the Championship and challenge myself, up against some top teams with top players and give myself a chance to show what I’m really capable of,” he told Barnsley’s official website.
“It’s a lot more difficult to play in this division than it would be for me to be back in Liverpool playing in the U23s or whatever.
“It’s a lot more physical, more demanding and the players in the league are much tougher. It’s a challenge in my career that I’m relishing.
“A key part to the success of any young players’ loan is the environment and way of working at the club.”
Kent praised Barnsley for the platform their providing him, revealing he intends to pay their faith back by playing his part in a productive campaign.
“Barnsley are giving me everything that I need to get to that next level, they’re really helping me in my career and I’m hopefully helping them in the process. That’s my focus right now, helping this club push to the top of the division.”
— Barnsley FC (@BarnsleyFC) November 3, 2016
The teenager has produced quietly impressive form since joining the club, with his dribbling ability and pace particularly catching the eye.
But having scored only once so far this season, the 19-year-old acknowledges he has work to do, with his main focus on improving his number of goals and assists.
“I need to improve in terms of my numbers, an end-product. I feel my performance levels have been good, but there’s nothing much to show for it at the moment”, Kent said.
“In the last year or so both here and at Coventry on loan last season, it’s clear I need to improve my end-product. I need to add numbers to my game.
“Assists, goals, it’s a key area for a forward player. It’s what keeps you in teams, it’s what managers want from you. It’s something I need to improve. And I’m working really hard on the training field to get better.”
It is refreshing to hear such honesty from a player of Kent’s tender years, and this will serve him well as he looks to demonstrate his capabilities in the second tier.
Adding more goals and direct contributions to his name is certainly a target, in order to ensure his game carries a substance alongside his slick style.
A good season of development at Barnsley will ensure Kent stays in Jurgen Klopp’s thoughts for the future.