Over the past 5+ seasons, Rangers have had a tonne of almost exclusively diabolical loans.
Obviously excluding veterans like Steven Davis and Jermain Defoe, we are referring to ‘youth’ players sub-23 from other clubs, and it’s safe to say bar literally one, Ryan Kent, they’ve been excruciating failures.
Rangers, in short, have not had good luck with the loan market.
Which is why we don’t consider Ianis Hagi’s loan a ‘loan’ at all.
It is the purest form of ‘try before you buy’.
Hagi’s deal is a 6-month loan with £5M option to buy – and this is critical. By securing this kind of contract, Rangers and our fans get to see the player’s qualities for half a season before investing the big cash in making it permanent.
This is not a loan deal to get Hagi minutes, this is literally a trial period to ensure this is a player Rangers need.
Our management would have had Hagi watched and analysed – he ticked all the boxes of creativity, pace, invention and quality – the only thing Rangers were less sure of was his ability to handle the Scottish game.
And he’s clearly passed that test inside three matches. Some would say, inside his 15-minute cameo 10 days ago.
And now Rangers can fully assess him – it’s frankly a smart move.
Instead of us ‘developing’ someone else’s player and paying his wages, as we’ve done far too often with little return, this time we pay effectively our own player to produce – and if after the trial period he hasn’t done enough to make the deal permanent, he goes back to Belgium.
This is like Ryan Kent all over again but this time without a nonsense saga of will they won’t they sell/loan him to us.
No, the performances from the Romanian have been very impressive indeed, and his attitude top-notch.
No airs or graces, no moody response to rough treatment – the lad takes the hits and gets on with it.
And if he keeps the performance level up, £5M will look like a bargain.
Well played Rangers.