WHEN Glen Kamara first arrived at Dundee back in 2017, their manager Neil McCann asked Jimmy Boyle what his initial impressions of the young midfielder were.

Boyle, who was head of youth development at Dens Park at the time, was in no doubt about their new signing’s vast potential.

“When Glen came in Neil said to me: ‘What do you think?’” he recalled. “I told him: ‘He can play at a much higher level’. I don’t actually know how Neil managed to get him.

“Straight away, we felt he could go on to greater things. He was an excellent footballer. He got on the ball all the time, he read the game well, he didn’t give away possession, he was a good team player and, on top of all that, he was a great lad as well.”

Kamara’s subsequent progress in Scotland – he sealed a switch to Rangers at the start of last year and has established himself as an automatic first team starter for the Ibrox club this season – has come as little surprise to the former Dundee assistant manager.

Nor has the player’s success with Finland been a shock to his old coach; he made his debut for his national team a few months after arriving on Tayside and has since gone on to make 20 international appearances.

The 25-year-old helped his country to qualify for Euro 2020, the first major tournament in their entire history, by finishing second in Group J last year.

Kamara, who came on in a 2-0 win over a France side that contained Olivier Giroud, Paul Pogba and Moussa Sissoko in Paris last week, is set to play against Wales in Cardiff this evening.

A victory will see Finland top Nations League Group B4 and secure a potential play-off place for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

“I think playing for his country has been important in Glen’s development,” said Boyle. “Every time he goes away on international duty with Finland he does really well. He is getting noticed in Europe as well now. I have heard teams are looking at him.

“He suits the European game. With the schooling he has had at Arsenal, his style of play is ideal for continental football. He has done really well in the Europa League games for Rangers. He has done great getting to where he is now. But he has got the ability to go further.”

Kamara has been linked with Anderlecht, Arsenal, Aston Villa, Brighton, Crystal Palace, Dynamo Kiev, Dynamo Moscow, Everton, Juventus, Leeds United, Marseille, Sheffield United and Southampton during his time at Ibrox.

Boyle is convinced the former Arsenal youngster is more than capable of playing at a higher level in the future and can bank Rangers, who secured his services for a nominal £50,000 fee, a substantial profit when he does so.

“I am really pleased for him,” he said. “I would love to see him kicking on again somewhere else at some point in time. I fully believe he has got the technique and the mentality. But that will be up to Glen. If he wants to then I am sure he can do it.

“Rangers will definitely make money on Glen if they decide to sell him. But at this present moment in time they won’t be thinking like that. They will be keen to keep him with it being such a big year for them. They are top of the league and they will want to stay there. They won’t want anybody to go.”

Boyle, who excelled in the defensive midfield role himself during his playing career with, among others, Queen’s Park, Airdrie and Partick Thistle, believes Kamara would be well advised to remain at Rangers,

Kamara has, under the watchful eye of former Liverpool and England midfielder Steven Gerrard and alongside experienced internationalists like Scott Arfield, Steven Davis and Ryan Jack, improved and developed

“Rangers is a very big club with a lot of good midfielders so I can understand why it took him time to settle,” he said. “I thought he did very well when he first went to Ibrox and then had a wee dip. But he has bounced back.

“The Rangers midfield has got a really good mentality and a lot of energy. They have got Arfield who wants to get in the box all the time. They have got Glen who will start play up, link play, shut things down, slow the game down and bring the pace up.

“Then they have Steven, whose knowledge of the game is tremendous, in the dugout. I think it is good that Glen is playing with Steven because he can learn a lot off him. His manager is very complimentary about him and rightly so.

“He can score more goals and that will come, maybe with a wee bit more self-belief that he can get into the box a wee bit more and get goals. He has definitely got the ability.”