With Jake Hastie’s omission for Thursday’s UEL third round qualifier confirmed, and the winger’s absence from the match-day squad for the season opener yesterday, it does start to suggest that our questions over this signing were entirely valid after all.
While not hopeless, Hastie has struggled to settle, and being axed for both the UEL second round, third round, and the SPL curtain-raiser is a damning indictment of both his inability to apparently fit in, and Gerrard’s decision to bring him in.
This isn’t an 18-year old, this is an experienced 20-year old SPL performer who excelled at Fir Park statistically, but who Ibrox Noise warned against the signing of when he looked hopeless for the visit of his prospective team and where team mate David Turnbull stood out infinitely more.
With his failure even to get on the bench for 5 of the 7 competitive fixtures of the season so far, questions must be asked why he’s even at Ibrox.
As we say, he’s not a kid – he’s not ‘one for the future’ – and the official channels suggested some weeks ago that he would be getting a full chance in our colours.
Yet, here we are deep into August and so far he already looks like the forgotten man of the summer.
It’s certainly not an age issue – Sheyi Ojo is only marginally older while George Edmundson is too. And both of these two, rightly or wrongly, have been regulars. But Hastie has been immediately cast out.
Ojo hasn’t impressed since that early flurry of bright displays in meaningless matches, while the only other two options for the right are the failed Eros Grezda and Scott Arfield, who may or may not be ideally suited to that slot.
And for Hastie to not even be considered instead is a pretty horrendous omen for him.
We really questioned this signing, more than most. We stand by that. We don’t even dislike him, and could see reasonable signs of ability during some of the pre-season friendlies – but it hardly proved he was good enough for us, period, and Steven Gerrard has seen fit to omit him from most of the competitive action so far this campaign.
Barry Ferguson might have suggested Hastie shouldn’t join Rangers – we’d think in the opposite terms; that we shouldn’t have bothered signing him.
We just don’t know what he adds that we didn’t already have.