Stevie G drops big potential hint about striker decision

Stevie G drops big potential hint about striker decision

Steven Gerrard may have dropped a significant hint that he has decided to keep Ryan Hardie at Ibrox, in a big blow to Livi manager Gary Holt.

The 21-year old striker was recalled for the trip to Tenerife, and reports are he impressed and did very well, despite the Livi manager’s eagerness for him to return to the Tony Macaroni, and Gerrard reinforced the possibility that he could stay in Govan instead.

He said:

“Ryan Hardie has come into the picture so it has been nice to work with four quality forwards. We haven’t had that luxury and that’s been really nice and a big positive.”

On the face of it this doesn’t prove anything, but between the lines Stevie appears extremely happy to have been able to work with four strikers of what he deems quality and if he views Hardie in this way, and enjoyed the luxury of all four of them, it may well be something he wants to continue working with in order to have a number of versatile options going forward with the team for the rest of this season.

Hardie would also play a fair bit we’d imagine – with Jermain Defoe and Alfredo Morelos first choice strikers, Hardie would vie with Kyle Lafferty, and with the incredibly heavy schedule at Ibrox these days there’s no doubt having those two as support for the main choices is the kind of ‘burden lifting’ Gerrard has sought for Morelos, who has taken on far too much alone.

And that quote really does give Hardie some hope he could well finally get his chance to shine at Ibrox.

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  1. Don't think he sees Lafferty as quality or he would have used him more often. Think he is being nice.
    I would be happy with Shankland coming in the summer to replace Lafferty, with Hardie getting a new contract. Then we would have three without Morelos if he goes, or 4 if Rudden or Dallas are ready, Rudden more likely

    • If Morelos goes then I don't think a remaining strike force of Defoe (another year older), Lafferty (if he's still here), Hardie, Rudden and Shankland (if we signed him) would be anywhere near strong enough. We need a top quality proven striker not young prospects.

    • Rob, Morelos was not a quality proven striker. Aguero and Kane are. We can't afford that market. We have to buy unproven, cleverly.
      Having said that Hardie has proven himself this season in a short burst. Shankland has proven himself over 2 seasons at a lower level and Rudden has 8 goals at Falkirk. Without them, Falkirk would not have won a single game, he is keeping them off the bottom. That is a hell of a job for an 18 year old!!
      I honestly think those three with Defoe mentoring them could do the job,
      Shankland is older than Morelos, Hardie is older than Morelos was when he arrived.

    • I think we got lucky with Morelos SWH. I seem to remember someone saying you win nothing with kids. Unfortunately Hardie, Rudden and Shankland are not Beckham, Scholes and Neville. Obviously Kane and Arguero are out of reach and agree we need to buy cleverly but don't think we can go into next season with the players suggested. I don't have the answers but hope that Gerrard and Allan can pull something out the bag.
      Would Hardie even be on our radar if he was a Livingston player? Is Shankland another Nicky Clark and why aren't clubs like Aberdeen, Hibs and Hearts queuing up to sign him? Would we even consider Rudden at his age to be the answer to our striking problems?

    • Rob
      I agree we got lucky with Morelos. Unproven, young, but scoring buckets of goals in a smaller league. Like Shankland. Would Hardie be on our radar if he was a Livingston player? Shankland is an Ayr player, so I would say yes. I believe other clubs are interested, Ayr have turned down a bid from England and Hibs have been mentioned. I think the lack of public interest may be because he has a clear idea of where he wants to go, be it Ibrox or elsewhere.
      Rudden is playing at Falkirk, but I would like to think if he wasn't ours that a fulltime team of scouts would be aware of him. As for his age, in May he will be 19, three years older than Derek Johnstone was when he made a scoring debut in a Cup Final. Against them!!
      Fact is, as you note, SG and Allan may well have better options lined up. Papers have us chasing a League 1 19yr old striker, or this 18yr old Iraqi, but there will be others under investigations. We shall have to put our faith in those that have so far served us well.

  2. We're also supposed to be looking at an 18 year old Iranian striker who's playing at the Asia cup…No Surrender…

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