JONATAN JOHANSSON took his place amongst the greats of Finnish football as he was inducted into the Hall of Fame on Saturday evening.

Then the former Rangers striker saw Glen Kamara prove why he could become a shining light in the next generation of Huuhkajat stars.

Kamara has earned rave reviews in his homeland for his accomplished performance as he helped Markku Kanerva’s side to a 2-0 victory over Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Former Celtic striker Teemu Pukki netted twice to ensure Finland secured a win that keeps them within touching distance of leaders Italy in qualifying Group J. Kamara got an assist to his credit and caught the eye of a Finnish football legend.

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“I was at the game on Saturday because I was fortunate enough to be inducted into the Hall of Fame,” Johansson, who made 106 appearances for his country, said.

“I was able to see Glen live and he was very, very good with the ball and you could see that he is very comfortable on it and he always wants it.

“He is still a young player, but he has grown to be a main midfielder, a main passer of the ball in midfield.

“He is one of those players that can go deep, pick the ball up and pass and also go and join in attacks and be dangerous in and around the box.

“He is a very good midfielder and he has been one of the main players for Finland in the success we had in the Nations League and now in the European Championship qualifiers.

“He has been really influential and impressive and the fans really enjoy him as well, which is great.”

Off the park, Kamara is a quiet an unassuming character. His actions in front of the microphones and the cameras are rarely startling and he is very much a man that does his talking when it matters most for his team.

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The £50,000 fee that Rangers paid for him in January looked a steal from the day he made his debut for Steven Gerrard’s side.

He slotted into the Light Blues midfield with relative ease and never looked out of place as he quickly established himself during the second half of the campaign.

Many Gers fans were perhaps unconvinced at Gerrard’s desire to bring him on board. Those sceptics have already been won over, though.

Johansson said: “There is no doubt that it was a bit of shrewd business from Rangers getting him from Dundee and I think his time there was really valuable for him.

“He had a good qualification at Arsenal and then he went to Dundee and was able to play passing football, which suited him really well.

“He got first team football, got used to the physical side of it, and I am obviously really pleased with how he has started at Rangers. He has got a place in the starting line-up early, and deservedly so.

“It is the same with the national team. He came in and did well and he has grown there in terms of his confidence and he is a main player now. Finland look to play out from the back and pass the ball and that suits him because he sees a lot of the ball.

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“On Saturday, he hardly misplaced a pass and he had an assist as well so, all round, it was probably one of his best games for Finland.

“It was really pleasing and it is great for the national team to have him moving forward because his best years are certainly in front of him.”

Born in Tampere to parents of Sierra Leonean descent, it was in England where Kamara took his first steps in the game. Those years at Arsenal gave him a foundation, but it was the move to Dundee that saw him really establish himself as he rose to prominence.

Even playing in a Dees side that were often struggling, the 23-year-old still managed to catch the eye.

The way he hit the ground running at Ibrox says much about his quality and his character. And Johansson, who spent three years with Rangers early in his career and then returned to the club as part of Pedro Caixinha’s coaching staff, has been impressed as Kamara has taken it all in his stride for club and country.

“When I was assistant manager with the national team, he was still young,” he said. “I was aware of him but I have never worked with him so I don’t know him. But he seems a really mature player in the way he plays and he has showed great mental strength going to Rangers, a massive club, and being able to handle it straight away.

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“It is the same with Finland, he has come in and done so well and become one of the main players very quickly and that shows a real maturity.

“At Rangers, it is not just about settling, it is about playing well, especially in midfield when you get a lot of the ball and you need to be confident. He has certainly done that and that shows great character all round.

“He has really built himself on the international stage as well so it was a fantastic season for him.

“We are happy to have him and he is in a great place at Rangers where he can only get better.”

In an interview in his homeland over the weekend, Kamara admitted it would be a ‘dream’ to one day play in the Premier League after he was linked with a move to Brighton.

His focus right now is on the Euro clash with Liechtenstein, before he returns to pre-season action with Rangers in a couple of weeks to prepare for his first full term under the guidance of boss Gerrard.

It is only natural he will attract attention, but Kamara still has plenty to achieve with Rangers at present.

Johansson said: “You have to be careful with young players in terms of the comments you make and the pressure you put on them but, as I said, he had a fantastic season and has done well with Rangers and Finland.

“It is about giving young players the opportunities and the time to grow and if he continues to play well then there is always going to be interest in good players.

“I am sure there will be teams looking at him now and in the future but it will be when the time is right for him and Rangers. He has got the potential and the skill to move forward but it is about enjoying your football and progression right now.”