Rangers legend Barry Ferguson admits that he wishes prodigy Billy Gilmour had stayed at Rangers longer before making the move to a bigger league.

Gilmour left Ibrox to join Chelsea 12 months ago after bursting onto the scene as a 15-year-old in the Gers’ youth system – attracting attention from some of the biggest clubs in Europe.

Ferguson admits he doesn’t know the “ins and outs” of the Gers’ attempts to keep Gilmour –  and thinks the teen had the chance to “live the dream” at Ibrox.

“I don’t know the ins and outs of what happened at Rangers. If the club tried hard enough to keep him or if there was no way of competing against the financial incentives that Chelsea were offering the boy and his family,” Ferguson said, as quoted by the Daily Record.

“But what I would say is that, for the sake of the club and the player, I wish he had chosen not to leave so soon.

“I wish he’d have stayed and made a real fist of it because, as a Rangers fan himself, he had the chance to live the dream for a few years before making the step up to a bigger league.”

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Football Insider verdict:

Billy has all the talent in the world and can go as far as he wants to in football. Like Ferguson, we’re gutted he moved on from Ibrox and think Gilmour could have made an impact in the first-team at Rangers immediately. After watching Gilmour regularly as he made his way through the Gers’ Academy, it was clear he is destined for the top and there are few 16-year-olds anywhere who make controlling a game from the middle of the pitch look as effortless as Gilmour. Rangers certainly tried to keep Gilmour and were desperate for the youngster to commit his future to the Gers but the chance to work with the likes of Cesc Fabregas was too tempting for the midfielder. Gilmour has really impressed during the Toulon Tournament this summer too with Scotland and will be hoping to continue that when he returns to Chelsea. If there was one player we had to pick who would buck the trend of young players not making the breakthrough at Chelsea – it would be Gilmour.

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