Steven Gerrard may be at odds with Livi manager Gary Holt after confirming intention of bringing striker Ryan Hardie back to Ibrox this month.
The Auchenhowie youth graduate has been in fine form over at Almondvale and Holt suggested last month there was no way he was letting Hardie leave.
“I think Rangers will be delighted that he is scoring goals. You can’t forget that he has been out for eight months and although we are reaping the rewards of having him, we are also giving him a platform to play. It’s four goals in three games and he is playing games. We won’t be sending him back.”
However Gerrard has today admitted Hardie’s future may be coming back to Ibrox:
“What it will depend on is if we’re able to add someone to the squad. If we do that, we’ll probably leave him where he is. But if we can’t make that happen, it’s an option. He’s a player I like. I haven’t seen too much of him because he’s had a lot of injuries at Rangers. But I’ve been really impressed watching his performances for Livingston. We won’t bring Ryan back not to use him. I’ve got respect for the player and his development. I know he’s enjoying his football at Livingston. If the decision is to bring him back, it would only be with an eye to using him. It’s one that we’re discussing in-house at the moment but haven’t made a final decision on.”
That all said, Holt softened his stance following dialogue between Rangers and Livi after it emerged Rangers have every right to recall him this month if desired:
“I’d like to say no. We’re delighted with Ryan but he has been out for eight months and only started two of the last three games. He’s still getting up to speed, we’ve three games he’ll hopefully be involved in and then we’ll assess it from there. We can do nothing about it, we’ll enjoy him whilst he is here, however long that may be.”
Hardie could well add some much-needed depth to the front line, giving Gerrard further options to call upon.
We wouldn’t strictly advocate him as a replacement for Alfredo Morelos by any means, but having quality depth in the squad can only be a good thing for a club like Rangers.
We’ll see how this one pans out.