Rangers are seemingly currently the best-placed side to chase down Celtic in their pursuit of nine-in-a-row, with the Gers coming within nine points of them last season, the joint closest a Scottish Premiership runner-up have come to the Bhoys in the last eight seasons.
Steven Gerrard’s job is now to get closer and make life more uncomfortable for the Hoops, and as Alan Nixon has documented Blackpool’s interest in Ryan Hardie, it’s up to the former England captain to make sure the young striker remains at Ibrox.
Last season saw the Rangers man spend his campaign at Livingston on-loan where he scored seven goals in 16 games in the first phase of the domestic league. At the age of just 22-years-old, the Scottish striker can still carve out a future at Ibrox, especially with Kyle Lafferty linked with an exit, as per The Daily Record who have claimed he could be on his way to Thai Super League club Buriram United.
Hardie, according to Nixon, is a target for Blackpool as the Bloomfield Road outfit are after a ‘tall frontman’, with the Rangers man certainly fitting the bill as he stands at six feet. However, Gerrard should think carefully before letting the striker go, especially seeing as he proved clinical in his spell at Livingston.
The Scottish striker missed 11 league games with a knee injury and a further three against Rangers as he wasn’t eligible to play against his parent side, but he still pitched in with seven goals of the Lions’ 42 that they bagged across the league season.
Next season, though, Gerrard could need him and having a young forward who can operate in rotation with Jermain Defoe and Alfredo Morelos will be key at Ibrox. Morelos has proven to have his issues with discipline, missing eight games through red and yellow card suspensions, Transfermarkt, whilst Defoe is now 36-years-old.
When taking that into account and considering that the Gers played 60 competitive games last season, there’s certainly room for another forward to feature at the club, especially if Lafferty does depart.
Dapo Mebude is one who the Gers have raved about before, via The Daily Record, but considering he’s just 17-years-old, giving Hardie that 3rd striker role until Mebude comes of age may indeed be a smart move.
Rangers fans, do you want to see more of Ryan Hardie next season? Let us know and comment below!
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