Rangers’ signing of Ianis Hagi on loan from Belgian side Genk won huge plaudits from the club’s fans and former Ibrox star Thomas Buffel thinks the Romanian’s impressive start for the Gers has people in Belgium taking notice.

Hagi had struggled for regular games this season after an €8million move to the Belgians before heading to Ibrox on loan and catching the eye with his early form for Steven Gerrard’s side.

BRAGA, PORTUGAL - FEBRUARY 26: Ianis Hagi of Rangers FC looks on during the UEFA Europa League round of 32 second leg match between Sporting Club Braga and Rangers FC at Estadio Municipal de Braga on February 26, 2020 in Braga, Portugal.

(Photo by Jose Manuel Alvarez/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)

Buffel admits he doesn’t know why Hagi didn’t play regularly for Genk but thinks he could have been the answer to the Belgians’ lack of creativity.

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“Not a lot of people knew who Hagi was when he first came into Genk but the scouts for the club spotted him playing in Romania and brought him in,” Buffel said, as quoted by the Glasgow Times.

“He was direct, he had good vision and he scored in his first game so it was very promising.

“But then the team had difficulties with the coach and they started to lose some games. The confidence was down and it was like a snowball from there with a lot of players being under their level.



“The new coach took over and Hagi didn’t really play much. I don’t know what happened there.

“Then he made the transfer to Rangers and people in Belgium were a bit curious that he was suddenly playing well for Rangers when Genk could have used a player that was playing like that because sometimes they lack a little bit of creativity.”

Hagi will almost certainly have a huge role to play on Thursday when the Gers host Leverkusen in the first leg of the Europa League clash between the sides.

GLASGOW, UNITED KINGDOM - SEPTEMBER 28: Thomas Buffel of Rangers celebrates after scoring during the UEFA Cup second leg match between Rangers and FC Molde at Ibrox stadium on September 28, 2006 in Glasgow, Scotland.

(Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

The Romanian international has chipped in three goals and two assists in his first ten appearances for the Gers, and fans have been clamouring for Rangers to make his move permanent although some think he’s set to leave regardless.

If he does stay at Ibrox, watching Hagi reach his potential in Glasgow would be fantastic for Gers fans as he looks to emulate his iconic dad, Gheorghe.


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