Former Rangers striker Kris Boyd has backed recent loan signing Ianis Hagi to be a success at Ibrox, believing that he provides a creative spark that Steven Gerrard’s side had been lacking and can quickly adapt to the Scottish Premiership.
The Romanian midfielder, who joined on loan from Genk at the end of January, scored a late winner for the ‘Gers in last week’s win over Hibernian and Boyd thinks that his deadline day acquisition was “a shrewd bit of business” by the club.
He told Sky Sports: “Hagi has been bright, he got his goal against Hibs as well. He is maybe something Rangers were lacking in terms of that little bit of creativity – he is different to the rest.
“People speak about the physicality of the game here but he will adapt, he will find ways around that as well – he is definitely good with the ball at his feet, can drive at people and he has got an eye for goal as well so it could be a shrewd bit of business for Rangers.”
Boyd’s comments about Hagi having “an eye for goal” and adding a “little bit of creativity” are justified by the 21-year-old playmaker’s figures over the last couple of seasons. He came to Rangers having scored three goals and set up another four for Genk in 14 Belgian top-flight matches. He accrued those returns in just 578 minutes of game-time in the Jupiler Pro League, giving him an average of one goal per 192.67 minutes and an assist every 144.5 minutes.
No midfielder at Rangers has provided more than eight assists so far this season. That is the figure racked up by Joe Aribo, who has been on the pitch for 2,871 minutes in 2019/20, averaging one assist every 358.87 minutes. Sheyi Ojo is the only other member of Steven Gerrard’s squad with more than five assists, registering seven in his 1,914 minutes this term (one every 273.43 minutes). [via TransferMarkt]
Hagi has also shown that he can finish chances as well as creating them, with a return of 14 goals in 39 games for FC Viitorul in his homeland last season (0.36 goals per game). That tally is the same as fellow Rangers midfielders Scott Arfield and Aribo have managed from a combined 80 appearances this term, a stark contrast even when allowing for Romania’s league being notably weaker than the Scottish Premiership (they are 29th and 16th respectively in UEFA’s association club coefficient).
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The 21-year-old didn’t need long to open his scoring account for Rangers, scoring against Hibernian on his first start for the Ibrox club, and if he can continue in the same vein as the last 18 months, he looks well placed to fulfil Boyd’s ringing endorsement of him.
Rangers fans, do you agree with Boyd’s glowing views of Hagi? Tell us what you think by commenting below!
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