When Ianis Hagi was told that he’d be starting the Scottish Cup clash against Partick Thistle, there must’ve been an eerie sense of deja vu as he returns fro injury.

Here Rangers were preparing to welcome a lower league team to Ibrox in the nation’s flagship cup competition roughly one year on from when Ianis Hagi had his career halted in similar circumstances.

Rangers FC v St. Johnstone FC - Cinch Scottish Premiership
Photo by Richard Callis/MB Media

The Romanian playmaker, 24, suffered a devastating cruciate ligament knee injury in a 4-0 win against Stirling Albion in late January 2022.

Fast forward 13 months and Ianis Hagi was making his starting return against Partick Thistle, following on from that substitute appearance against St Johnstone at the end of January.

Amid the chaos of a frenetic affair against Partick Thistle – which has since seen Ian McCall sacked in the aftermath – the return of Ianis Hagi has been a little understated.

Ianis Hagi hits Partick Thistle milestone

Hagi is a hugely influential player for Rangers and whilst there is an expectation the player will take some time to get back to his best, this is a huge step in doing so.

Whilst the player was hooked at halftime alongside new signing Todd Cantwell with Rangers trailing 1-0, the performance almost wasn’t as important as the minutes on the pitch at this moment.

After such a lengthy injury it often takes some time to start reaching that influential level and let’s hope that over the next few weeks we begin to see more from a player who is amongst the club’s most talented on his day.

Rangers boss Michael Beale claimed Ianis Hagi will be in the running for the clash with Celtic at Hampden come the end of the month and we will soon see if that was said out of hope rather than expectation.

Meanwhile, Michael Beale has been explaining that bonkers situation with Malik Tillman in the 3-2 victory.

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