Ianis Hagi falling short as on-loan Rangers man struggles in Spain

Ianis Hagi falling short as on-loan Rangers man struggles in Spain
VITORIA-GASTEIZ, SPAIN - SEPTEMBER 22: Mikel Vesga of Athletic Club battles for possession with Ianis Hagi during the LaLiga EA Sports match between Deportivo Alaves and Athletic Bilbao at Estadio de Mendizorroza on September 22, 2023 in Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain. (Photo by Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images)

Romania boss Edward Iordănescu has sent on-loan Rangers man Ianis Hagi currently at Alaves a message that he’s not doing enough to secure a national team spot at this year’s Euros as things stand, with the playmaker’s disappointing spell in Spain continuing.

Having made absolutely no impact on Deportivo since joining on loan last summer, Alaves boss Luis García dropped Hagi entirely for the last clutch of matches and now his national boss is concerned the famously-named attacker just isn’t delivering enough to justify selection.

He said:

“If Ianis Hagi wants to make a big impression at the Euros and I know all our fans are desperate to see this, then I told him that he has to fight harder and establish himself at his club. He is an important player and I went to Spain to tell him I had faith in him, but he needs to start more games.”

He’s started just 8 matches in all competitions all season, just two goals and an assist, and those two goals were against the Spanish equivalent of Dumbarton in the national cup’s first round.

He’s just had no real impact in Spain, despite some Scottish press claiming otherwise and some Rangers fans desperately wanting him back.

He went on:

“Unfortunately, we have fewer players at the top level. Ianis is playing in one of the best leagues in the world, but he needs to play more. There are positive signs, but there are also some negative signs. From the first day when I took over the team I always try to react if we have a problem and that’s why I went to see Ianis. I trust him and I went there to give him a message of confidence. I also talked to the coaches at his club. I am optimistic he will play a big part for the club for the rest of the season.”

If Hagi ups his game and starts justifying a starting berth, then yes, he’ll get his place at the Euros, but as things stand he’s just not proving why Michael Beale was wrong to send him out on loan.

The conditions were perfect – the league he’s always wanted, his own happiness after a few games of being there that he wanted to remain there, and the family connection to Spain.

But he’s just, it seems, simply not been good enough, and domestic boss Garcia has seen fit to leave him on the bench.

In fairness, they lost three in a row with him featuring, and in the last three won two and drew one…

What does this mean for Rangers?

Some might point to Antonio Colak as an example of a player who thrived at Ibrox but has struggled elsewhere and suggest Hagi is worth trying again, but Colak didn’t want to leave at all, Hagi was thrilled with the move to Spain.

Colak also doesn’t suit Parma’s style or indeed the Italian second division, while Hagi should be tailor-made to shine in Spain.

Luis Garcia doesn’t think so.

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