With January’s window upon us, Steven Gerrard has been vocal in admitting new talent is needed for his squad to be properly equipped for the new year. Quite a few areas need strengthening, and the loss of Ovie Ejaria has arguably accelerated activity in the Govan transfer market, but one area stands out as being borderline appalling at Ibrox:
If we remove Alfredo Morelos (and even he is powerless to help us score in open play at times) from the equation, the striking depth at Steven Gerrard’s disposal is absurdly laughable.
Kyle Lafferty has only fleetingly shown any sort of form, and has frankly failed terribly so far to live up to even a quarter of the expectation around him – true, he’s suffering a lack of selection with Morelos’ presence often putting paid to that, but equally Morelos’ suspensions recently have given him an opening and he hasn’t come close to taking it.
Meanwhile the literal only other striker at Ibrox has departed for pastures new in the form of Umar Sadiq, but he was a complete flop anyway so it’s a non-issue.
Enter suddenly the most in-form Rangers striker we have – Ryan Hardie.
Hardie’s form last season included seeing him awarded POTM for his superb return in March at then-Championship Livingston, and the 21-year old has continued that in the SPL following his return from a bad knee injury which curtailed his first few months of life in Scotland’s top flight.
Since aforementioned regaining of fitness it’s three goals in four for the on-loan Rangers man, who managed an excellent 8 in 16 last season plus two assists.
Many fans made an argument against Jason Cummings that he had never done it at SPL level – and that was true. On the other hand, Hardie has delivered in both Scotland’s second top tier and in its summit too, and with him being our player, in concert with our current abysmal lacking of quality up top, while we’re not strictly claiming he’s good enough to be our main man, he would add the level of depth we need while not costing a halfpenny.
Rangers are in the market for quality up front – Liverpool’s Dominic Solanke continues to be linked, Gillingham’s Tom Eaves is being mentioned too. But no harm surely in recalling Hardie and giving the kid a chance.