Burton Albion v Barnsley: Teenager Ryan Kent’s Reds stay is proving mutually beneficial

Barnley's Ryan Kent in action against Leeds United earlier this season (Picture: James Hardisty)
Barnley's Ryan Kent in action against Leeds United earlier this season (Picture: James Hardisty)
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Teenager Ryan Kent hopes success with Barnsley can help pave a path to first-team football at his parent club Liverpool.

The 19-year-old midfielder has been a regular for Paul Heckingbottom’s Reds this season, since arriving on loan from Anfield in the summer.

Having spent a temporary stint in League One with Coventry City last season, Kent has adapted smoothly to life in the Championship.

But he has aspirations to forge a career in the Premier League, having started once for Jurgen Klopp’s side in last season’s FA Cup tie at Exeter.

“Barnsley has given me everything I need to get to the next level,” said Kent.

“I am here to help the club, but Barnsley are here to help me. It’s where I want to go in my career.

“But right now I am concentrating on my time here, getting the club to the top of the division. I am just really enjoying playing in the Championship, not many players can say they are playing every week in the Championship at my age.”

Kent has been a regular fixture in the Reds midfield this season, but he admits to finding the Championship “more physically demanding” than he has experienced in his short career to date.

He said: “I want to challenge myself against top teams and show people what I am capable of.

“The Championship is a lot more physically demanding, tougher, where you probably get more time in the league above.”

One thing lacking for Kent is a regular flow of goals – his only success was against Rotherham United this term. Ironically, his single goal for Coventry last year was in a 4-3 win over Barnsley.

Goals and assists are an area is keen to improve on.

“I feel my performances are getting stronger but there isn’t much to show for it,” he said.

“I need to improve on my end product, adding numbers to my games, goals and assists, which are a key area for a forward player.

“That’s what keeps you in teams, that’s what managers want. That’s an area I want to improve and something I am working hard on on the training field.”

Today the Reds travel to Burton Albion, one of just three games in November, but all against clubs below them in the Championship.

Ken said: “We have already shown we can match the best in the league, coming into these games, we want to be taking all three points.”