Rangers have a rare weekend off from competitive action as international matches take over this week ahead of a return to the Premiership against Hearts on 16 October.
Whilst Gers fans may be twiddling their thumbs waiting for their club to play again, the international break provides an opportunity for them to watch players in a different setting whilst playing for their countries.
It also affords the players a chance to show Steven Gerrard, assuming he keeps track of their international performances, that they deserve a place in the Rangers XI. One player who may have needed this boost is attacking midfielder Ianis Hagi, who has failed to register a goal or assist in his last three appearances for the Scottish giants.
The 22-year-old lined up for Romania against European giants Germany in a World Cup qualifier on Friday night and put in a superb performance to put himself firmly in Gerrard’s thoughts ahead of next weekend.
The Gers playmaker was unable to help his team to victory as Romania succumbed to a 2-1 defeat, but his performance stood out as he scored the opening goal and caught the eye with the rare moments he had on the ball throughout the match.
He stunned the home crowd with a sensational goal to open the scoring on the night. He weaved inside and out of several Germany players, nutmegging Chelsea’s Antonio Rudiger, before unleashing a pinpoint left-footed effort into the bottom corner past the despairing dive of Barcelona’s Marc-Andre ter Stegen. This meant that he completed 100% of his attempted dribbles in the game, picking his moment with perfection to punish Germany.
Along with his goal, Hagi put in lots of hard work defensively. As per SofaScore, he won 75% of his duels as well as making one interception, one clearance and one tackle for Romania. This shows that he was not afraid to track back and put his foot in despite playing out wide, proving that he has a willingness for the more industrious side to the game.
Gerrard will surely have been impressed with this performance from Hagi as it shows what he can do in matches where his team may not dominate possession, in the Europa League for example. The 22-year-old proved that he can produce moments of magic whilst also being disciplined defensively, which could increase his chances of starting at Ibrox next week.