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“Thrives on pressure” – Former Ger backs Hagi to be main man for Gerrard

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Since Ianis Hagi returned to the Rangers starting XI after recovering from Covid-19, we have looked a lot more creative in the final third, the 22-year old becoming increasingly influential in Steven Gerrard’s side.

He might not have the blistering pace of Ryan Kent but Hagi has an ability to find space and link play with others that few in the squad possess with former Ger Thomas Buffel singing the Romanian international’s presence, as told to The Scottish Sun:

“Ianis has scored a few big goals on big occasions for Rangers now. He seems to thrive on the pressure and he is comfortable to produce at that level. Sometimes creative players make a mistake and drift out of the game but he always demands the ball.

“He was a young player when he came to Genk and he had a lot of competition for places, now he is an important player for Rangers.

“Sometimes in games you need players who are willing to have a shot from outside the box and Ianis does that.

“You need players who can think quickly and that’s something he certainly has.

“I think Ianis will have learned a lot from the manager since he has been working with him. You have to listen to the manager as he ultimately wants to help you be successful.

“Hopefully he can keep producing it on a regular basis for Rangers in the league and in Europe.”

Hagi can be a frustrating player, but in a good way. He will give the ball away trying to beat a player with a turn or attempting to play a team-mate in on goal, safety is usually the last resort.

Buffel is right, the role that Hagi plays is one of the most important in the team, names like Davie Cooper, Brian Laudrup, Paul Gascoigne and Ronald de Boer spring to mind of players that had the responsibility of providing the creative spark in a Light Blue shirt – that Hagi has this weight on his shoulders at such a young age shows just how tough he is mentally.

The jersey has never been too heavy for him – think Braga when he almost single handedly dragged us back into the game – and his comments after the draw to Brondby show just how much he “gets it”, he clearly thrives on the pressure of playing for Rangers and has improved every season – enjoy him whilst he’s here.

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