Rangers manager Steven Gerrard has claimed he was ‘nowhere near’ as good with his weaker foot as new arrival, Ianis Hagi, as quoted by the Daily Record.
The versatile 21-year-old was the Gers’ marquee capture on Deadline Day, arriving at Ibrox charged with giving the squad a lift for the second half of the season.
🗣️“We are delighted. We are talking about one of the best talents in Europe at under-21 level, and I think he has already gone and proved that."
Steven Gerrard has been speaking about the signing of Ianis Hagi.
— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) January 31, 2020
Understandably, he wasn’t able to make an instant impact during his cameo in the 0-0 draw with Aberdeen, but he came up trumps with a late winner against Hibernian in mid-week.
Now, his manager has moved to praise, amongst other things, his remarkable strength with both feet.
“He’s got two cannons in his feet and that’s down to his upbringing,” said Gerrard, as quoted by the Daily Record. “His dad has the academy and fair play to whoever has given him advice.”
“I’m not sure if it’s down to his dad or one of his coaches or whether he’s taken it upon himself. But you have to get onto it from a super young age to have two feet as accurate and powerful as that.
“I remember practising my left foot at the age of four or five and mine is nowhere near as accurate as his. So he must have been on to it at an even younger age – and he’s stuck at it. The biggest compliment is that people who watch him for the first time aren’t sure what side is his strongest.”
It’s a major compliment that Gerrard, a celebrated and highly successful midfielder at both club and international level, is deeming a 21-year-old to be more proficient than he ever was with his weaker foot.
The Gers boss was viewed as a model pro during his playing days, so it just shows the talent and work rate that Hagi possesses, allowing him to get to this level at such a young age.
He was, without doubt, the best player on the pitch on Wednesday night, and he’ll be keen to build on that display against Hamilton this afternoon.
After getting back to winning ways, the Gers will want to build a run of victories, while progression in the cup is big for all concerned at the club.
Accies will sit in and make things difficult, but with players like Hagi in the ranks, Rangers will be confident of breaking through.