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Exclusive: Ex-Liverpool star Walters advises Kent to take Rangers move

Former Liverpool star Mark Walters says on-loan Ryan Kent should remain at Rangers if he wants to further his career.

The Glasgow giants talked with Liverpool in January to sign Kent permanently but no deal was agreed.

Kent's performances have not gone unnoticed on Merseyside, and Rangers assistant coach Gary McAllister admitted yesterday that the club feared Liverpool would take the 22-year-old back at the end of the season.

A fifth loan spell since graduating from Liverpool's academy in 2015 has been by far Kent's most successful, having scored five goals in 27 appearances across all competitions for Rangers this season.

Such playing time would not be guaranteed at Anfield, with Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino certainties in Jurgen Klopp's starting line-up.

A man who spent time at both clubs, Walters has warned Kent to prioritise playing if he wants his career to continue flourishing.

Speaking to, Walters said: "I've seen about four or five games this season at Rangers and he's been very, very good in most of them. And he's only a young lad so these kind of big games [in Scotland] will only help him if he wants to go back to Liverpool.

"My problem would be, I mean, I just wanted to play football matches, if he doesn't want to play at the moment then he'll be probably want to go back to Liverpool. If he wants to play football in big games, then he could do that by staying at Rangers for another season, or maybe even signing permanently, because I always say it doesn't matter how good you are, if you're not playing it's irrelevant.

"So he's got to want to play and he'll know from the vibes at Liverpool if he's going to go back and play. But a young boy like that should be playing big games and he'll get that at Rangers."

Kent is not the only young footballer dealing with this dilemma. Not by a long stretch.

As Premier League clubs grow economically, so have their so-called 'loan army's'. Take Chelsea for example. According to their official website, the Blues currently have 41 players out on loan, some of whom have never played for the club and most likely never will.

A lack of opportunities has lead several youngsters to take their talents overseas, namely Jadon Sancho, who has become a star at Borussia Dortmund since leaving Manchester City in 2017.

Asked if he believed if players should follow Sancho's path, Walters added: "Absolutely yeah there's a lot of players these days are retiring and only playing 150 games.

"I don't know how lads really look at themselves in the mirror and say I played 150 games and I'm 35 and now I'm going to retire. I just think they should be playing as much as they can, that's the only way they're going to be learning is by playing with better players, playing in big games where the atmosphere is good because you can't recreate the atmosphere on a training pitch.

"Players need to play in games or else they want to improve. They might end up very wealthy but there's more to life than money."

To read about Mark Walters' incredible life, you can purchase Wingin' It: The Mark Walters Story (Pitch Publishing) by Mark Walters & Jeff Holmes by clicking here.

Andrew Maclean
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Andrew Maclean

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