Former Rangers winger Mark Walters still regrets walking away from the Ibrox treasure trove and has warned Ryan Kent he would be “crazy” to make the same mistake with so much silver still to be won.
Walters won three league titles and two League Cups during a four-year stint in Glasgow, but failed to reach the same heights after following Graeme Souness to Liverpool as part of a £1.25million switch in 1991.
He was part of the Anfield squads which lifted the 1992 FA Cup and 1995 League Cup but watched both games from the Wembley bench after being overlooked for a run-out.
At the time, Walters – now 56 – felt returning south of the border was the right move for his career.
But with the benefit of hindsight, he now believes he should have stayed at Ibrox chalking up trophies as Walter Smith continued the club’s nine-in-a-row charge.
And it is a lesson he feels current Rangers ace Kent should heed.
The 24-year-old former Liverpool winger – who made the move in the opposite direction after signing permanently for Rangers in a £7million deal two years ago – turned down the chance to join Leeds last summer but is expected to draw fresh interest after helping the Light Blues to their first title in a decade.
But Walters has warned the grass is not always greener in England.
He told the PA news agency: “With hindsight, I shouldn’t have left Rangers.
“I had literally 24 hours to make my mind up. I had the situation with the three-foreigner rule going on in my head. I didn’t want the fact I’d be classed as a foreign player to be the reason for why I’d be left out for big games in Europe.
“Rangers offered me more money, more everything but with hindsight leaving was a stupid thing to do.
“At the time I thought it was right as I was getting the chance to carry on working with a fantastic manager in Graeme Souness.
“I was winning one or two trophies a year at Ibrox but after that I only got two more winners’ medals for finals I never played in, so it is something I regret.”
Kent struggled to justify his hefty price tag last season but has stepped things up this term, contributing 12 goals and 13 assists as Gerrard’s unbeaten Rangers have steamrollered their way to the title.
There is still a Scottish Cup to be won before the end of the campaign and the lure of Champions League action next term, which Walters believes should be enough to keep Kent in Glasgow.
“Ryan is a great player and someone I really enjoy watching,” the former Aston Villa player said.
“He’s two-footed, which I like. I saw he scored a great goal against Hibs at the weekend with his weaker left foot.
“I’ve been so impressed by his performances. He’s contributing more this season in terms of numbers. That’s absolutely something that wide men have to chip in with in today’s game if they want to be successful.
“For a team like Rangers, you have to be scoring goals and assisting too. It’s not just about playing well but Ryan has come on bundles in the last 12 months.
“Ryan is in a great team right now and, personally, I think he’s still got a lot to do up there.
“If he left I don’t think it would be great for his progress.
“I can understand teams will be interested in him because he is playing so well.
“I don’t know what his long-term ambitions are but, for me, he needs to have another good season up in Glasgow then think about that.
“I’m sure Rangers will be disappointed they didn’t do better in Europe this season and they will have the Champions League to aim for next term.
“Hopefully he hangs around for that because, in my opinion, there are not many clubs Ryan could get that would be an improvement on Rangers.
“They are a club that can fulfil all his ambitions at the moment.
“Only Ryan knows what he wants to achieve but, for me, he’d be crazy to move this summer.”