Eagle-eyed Rangers fans have spotted a bit of a surprise in the arrival of Fabio Silva and its unexpected impact on Romania’s Ianis Hagi – the Portuguese has nabbed Hagi’s former number 7 Ibrox shirt.
A lot of immediate reaction noticed this development, and we’re going to take you through the implications of Silva having the on-loan Alaves attacker’s number.
Firstly, we can’t say we’ve ever seen this done before. Usually a loanee’s shirt number is preserved until they return out of pure respect and being cordial, that’s not the case here. In all honesty it, on the face of it, strikes as being slightly rude towards Hagi.
Secondly, Hagi is theoretically back in the summer while Silva theoretically returns to Wolves so… in theory… it doesn’t matter anyway as the Romanian would just get his shirt back.
But thirdly, the ‘rudeness’ was actually initiated by Hagi himself who slaughtered former manager Michael Beale with no hint of respect (regardless of merit) while he was still boss and bigged up the Spanish league while saying he wanted to stay in LaLiga. Right or wrong about Beale, or about Spain, it was a bad look and won’t have endeared his attitude to new manager Clement.
Fourthly, Hagi will be unlikely to come back anyway – it simply didn’t work out for him in Govan under any manager and if a deal can be done with the Spaniards to keep him there both clubs and the player himself will be quite content with that.
Fifth, Hagi senior has been sticking his oar in again praising his son and suggesting the final year at Ibrox was ‘difficult’ as if his lad had a divine right to play for Rangers – he was of course fit for most of 2023 but wasn’t favoured.
And finally, Hagi is not Philippe Clement’s player, and he has refused to discuss the boy at all:
“There are things that I share only in discussions with the player, not with the press. Excuse me, but it’s not my style to talk in public about transfers, rumours and other collateral matters. I understand your curiosity, but these are details we only discuss inside the club. I don’t like to debate point issues when it comes to my players. We will see what happens, because this is not just a decision of mine, but also of the club.”
He’s been pretty consistent on that approach, but it definitely didn’t scream of the warmest wording. But at least he did say ‘my’ players.
End of the day, 7 is, for this season, Fabio Silva’s shirt and number. Time will tell if Rangers fans ever get Hagi back in their colours.
NB: Hagi’s performances in Spain have been borderline abysmal. One assist in the league in 14 and 2 goals in the cup v Spain’s version of Clyde (some third division mob) is about all he’s mustered. If Rangers were in for a playmaker with those numbers fans would be extremely worried.