While clearly it’s going to take Ianis Hagi time to get up to speed as a Rangers player, it’s also safe to say the lad is match fit, and it’s just a case of getting him integrated and tuned in.
Which then leads us to wondering just how important a role he’ll have, and how he’ll fit in. Crucially, whose place he takes.
We at Ibrox Noise always advocated having the best players we can have – if it means putting Alfredo Morelos on the bench because we just signed Aguero, so be it!
As such, Hagi is clearly a born 10 – an attacking midfielder hovering around and beyond the final third effecting the game.
Rangers play with a three-man midfield, and it’s been evident it’s been filled with too many ‘workman’ players, and not enough flair. As much as we love Scott Arfield and Ryan Jack, both are well known as grafters, who can both play pretty much the same position. And Kamara is the same, even if he’s bang out of form these days and a complete passenger. Then there’s the ‘quarterback’ Steven Davis who, if fit, always plays, and frankly we need that to remain the case, even when his form isn’t quite as sparkling as usual.
Hagi gives that three man midfield the creativity it really lacks – and we know Aribo was no solution in that position either.
So, the big future dilemma for Stevie will be when Hagi plays, and that could become frequent if he impresses (or even if he doesn’t, hardly stopped Ojo from getting plenty appearances), who misses out?
Davis just has to retain his place, he’s crucial. Which means only one of Kamara, Jack and Arfield can possibly fit in there.
Kamara’s out, that’s an easy one. But the Jack and Arfield question is much more difficult. Very similar, very hard-working players – but both have slightly different attributes:
Arfield links up better – he is much more able to read players’ movement and switch play with them – he’s just a better link man. But Jack is better at tracking back and supporting defence.
We guess the answer would probably depend on the opponent – a tighter defence might prefer Arfield with his better positional linking to create space for others, while a more open match might want Jack for covering at the back.
But it’s certainly an issue. Hagi has to be a starter in the near future for his playmaking, while Davis has to stay in for his leadership and smooth calm play.
Which leaves one slot. And we’d probably give it to Arfield.
Either way, Hagi is set to be the lockpick we’ve needed, the lockpick we hoped Graham Dorrans would be.
And we can’t wait to see him fully in the zone for his new club.