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.
“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.