Lockdown Leaves Big Question Mark Hanging Over Rangers Move For Hagi

There’s no doubting that Ianis Hagi possess a fair amount of talent.

His dad Gheorghe Hagi was a Romanian legend and the younger Hagi already looks set to be a beloved fan favourite for his nation’s fans.

Ianis flourished in his homeland and he made the move to Italy with Fiorentina in 2016. But the then teenager struggled to make an impact in Serie A and he moved back to Romanian side Vitorul Constanta.

He caught the attention of various European sides as he enjoyed a fine tournament during the U21 European Championships in 2019.

Belgium came calling and Genk signed him up for around €8m on an bonus heavy transfer last summer.

After spending the opening months of the season at Genk, playing fourteen top flight games and scoring three goals, Hagi was then loaned out to Rangers.

Hagi has since played twelve times for The Light Blues and scoring another three goals.

There have been some standout moments. In particular was his inspiring performance against Braga in the Europa League. The maestro scored twice as he helps Rangers overcome a two goal deficit. His first strike was a lovely left footed drive from outside of the box and his second was a right-footed deflected freekick that won his team the game.

That second half showing against Braga highlighted all that’s good about the protege. He is excellent with both feet, he can excel in tough games, he thrives in front of big crowds, can score goals, shines with his set-pieces and is impressive when given licence to roam.

Unfortunately there have been other games in which Ianis has failed to shine. Sometimes the action passes him by and he looks a bit light.

As he’s still young and playing in yet another foreign league it is hard to tell whether we’ve seen the real Ianis Hagi yet.

The game against Scottish Premiership champions Celtic, which was the fixture that was the first called-off due to the Coronavirus pandemic, was probably going to be a match that would be the litmus test on whether Hagi could prove to be a real spark in Scotland.

Had he been able to provide a performance reminiscent of his dad in that particular tie then you could allow him more time to get used to the Scottish game, as he would be able to adapt.

On the other hand, had he collapsed under the intense pressure of that fixture then chances are Gers boss Steven Gerrard would probably pass on making his loan deal permanent.

Lockdown now gives Rangers the toughest of tasks.

Do they risk hard money of potential or keep their powder dry for someone with more experience?

All of Ianis Hagi’s goals for Rangers have come at vital times, as well as the Braga brace he also conjured up a winner against Hibs. The Romanian internationalist has also provided two assists in his nine starts for the Ibrox side.

Hagi has a terrific skill-set. He possesses pace, has a superb dribbling technique and he always wants to be on the ball.

But again it will boil down to whether or not he can shine consistently. Rangers will need to use him as a maverick like number ten and they might need to give him more time to find that consistency in that role.

Time might be a luxury that Rangers can ill-afford as they look to stop Celtic from securing yet another historic title.

Importantly the player himself was enjoying his experience in Glasgow:

“I was feeling really good at Rangers.” 

“Happy. It’s really important for a football player to be happy – and I can see I was happy there. Playing at Ibrox provides a player with unique moments.”

“Everybody could see that I was happy on the pitch. And obviously my football was getting better and better every day. Life in Glasgow was good too.”

Via Daily Record

So it will all boil down to Steven Gerrard.

Does he want to have a fluid maestro in his side trying to unlock defences? Can he wait for Ianis to find his feet fully? Can Rangers afford to spend a fair chunk of any transfer budget on the forward? Can a season long loan deal be done?

These are all questions that will need to be answered in coming months. One thing I’m sure about is that the Rangers gaffer would have loved to have seen more of the young Romanian star before making up his mind.

One Response to “Lockdown Leaves Big Question Mark Hanging Over Rangers Move For Hagi”

  1. I think we need him and should build team around him..if we can play him behind the striker he will flourish…worth the money and we will get at least double that back when we sell him on..although i jope he stays for a long time as he has potential to be a world class player

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