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Rangers: Ianis Hagi disappoints in St Mirren win

Rangers recorded their ninth consecutive win in the Scottish Premiership on Sunday as Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s Gers team beat St Mirren 2-0 at Ibrox.

After being recognised as the man of the match in last weekend’s 1-0 win over Dundee United, winger Scott Wright was handed a start and took his chance expertly, scoring the opener before Alfredo Morelos put the outcome beyond little doubt.

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Who did Rangers beat in their first game of 2021?

Although the victory maintained van Bronckhorst’s side’s six-point lead at the top of the Premiership, there was one particularly disappointing performance, and that was Ianis Hagi’s.

His attacking colleague in Ryan Kent also failed to have much joy in offensive areas but it was undoubtedly the Romanian who let the Dutchman down on Boxing Day.

Usually operating as a winger, Hagi was deployed in central midfield to accommodate Wright, a task that the 23-year-old struggled to complete successfully.

The Romanian lost 87.5% of his duels whilst also making just 36 touches, a terrible tally for a midfielder, especially in a side that boasted 77% of possession.

Moreover, Hagi couldn’t contribute a single accurate cross and his only shot of the game was blocked as well as making just one tackle. Again, a performance that acts as evidence that the 23-year-old isn’t suited, or at least comfortable, with this change in role.

However, with Wright taking his chance excellently, receiving an 8.3/10 rating from SofaScore, Hagi’s spot in van Bronckhorst’s side may be in jeopardy.

The Romanian played on the right of a midfield three that included fellow regulars Joe Aribo and Glen Kamara, both of whom had impressive games, before being substituted in the 68th minute for Fashion Sakala.

Should Ianis Hagi be dropped?

Yes

Yes

No

No

The only positive aspect of the Romanian’s performance that he can take away was that his passing was up to scratch, completing 86% of his attempted 28 passes, although 28 is a relatively low number for a midfielder to attempt in 68 minutes.

There is no doubt that Hagi is a key player for van Bronckhorst, racking up 25 appearances in all competitions already this season but this was a poor day at the office.

With the midfielders that were available from the bench, such as Scott Arfield and Steven Davis, it is clear that Hagi is highly thought of by his manager, however, playing in central midfield clearly isn’t the forward’s preference who now may have to become more versatile if Wright is able to build on his recent burst of form.

AND in other news, GVB could secure Rangers’ dream Barisic replacement in “aggressive” 19 y/o dynamo…

Article title: Rangers: Ianis Hagi disappoints in St Mirren win

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