Ianis Hagi is both blessed and burdened in that he has the perfect role model standing behind him in the shape of his legendary father, however, with this comes the expectation of one day following in his footsteps.
On an almost weekly basis we see articles from pundits, managers and former players in his homeland analysing the 22-year old playmaker and his current form for Rangers rather than just letting him develop at his own pace.
The latest to make the lazy comparison to former Barca and Real great Gheorghe is Mircea Lucescu, with the veteran manager making an astonishing claim, as reported by The Daily Record:
“You can rest assured that Ianis will pull the trigger that everyone is waiting for and becoming huge.
“He bears the immense burden of his name. I had the same situation with my son, Razvan and that’s why I wanted him to be a keeper so he wouldn’t constantly be compared with me.
“Ianis needed a manager like me earlier in his career who knew how to work with young talent like him.
“I tried to sign him, but he was too expensive and I couldn’t afford him.
“Let’s not forget that his father Gheorghe Hagi’s performances for Romania in the USA World Cup were down to me.
“I took him to Brescia from Real Madrid and I humiliated him. I called him fat and relegated him to the reserves to see if his pride would accept it.
“And the results were his performances in America.”
The sooner people in his homeland stop comparing Ianis to his dad, the quicker they will appreciate what a special player he is in his own right, yes, he is rough around the edges but with four goals and 10 assists in a little over 18 games, it’s clear to see where his strengths lie.
Is Hagi becoming a key player?
He might not be the main man for Rangers but building a team around one player rarely works – Messi and Ronaldo excepted – and the way in that Ianis has adapted his game, became a harder worker and more physical is a testament to his attitude.
One day he will move on, but if he continues to develop at his current rate we will have a special player on our hands and one that will land us a sizeable profit too, regardless of his surname.