7 goals in 21 appearances - has 6ft 2
photo by Alan Rennie/Action Plus via Getty Images

Seven goals in 21 matches - has Rangers loanee done enough?

With just one weekend of SPL fixtures remaining, Ryan Hardie’s stint at Livingston is nearing an end.
Apart from a trip back to Rangers for midseason training and to sign a contract extension, the 6ft 2″ forward has been with the Lions all season.

Hardie warms up ahead of a clash against Dundee. (photo by David Young/Action Plus via Getty Images)

It’s been his first real exposure to top flight football. Therefore, no one was expecting him to bang them in for fun.
However, will seven goals in 21 appearances be enough to convince Steven Gerrard to give him a go next season?

At first glance, seven strikes across a whole campaign doesn’t seem much to write home about.
I’m sure Hardie himself would have had his eye on more after netting five in five before the turn of the year.

Yet, before December, a serious injury had restricted him to just 12 minutes of playing time.

The 21-year-old notched an impressive brace against Hearts. (photo by Alan Rennie/Action Plus via Getty Images)

Overall, a goal every three matches is hardly mind-blowing form. It isn’t bad, either, though.
When selected, he’s been leading the line for a team more noted for their defence than attack, and a sizeable portion of those 21 appearances have come from the bench.

While the consistency might not be there yet, at least with his December purple patch, he showed he is capable of producing in the SPL.

It hasn’t always gone his way – at one stage he went eight matches without scoring. (photo by David Young/Action Plus via Getty Images)

First team squad player?

Realistically, a lot will depend on Rangers’ activity in the summer. Should the likes of Alfredo Morelos or Kyle Lafferty leave, there may be an opening in the squad for someone who impresses in pre-season.
Zak Rudden will also be there or thereabouts, given his goalscoring form for Falkirk.
Hardie does have the security of knowing he has a season left on his current deal. However, it remains to be seen what his role will be over that period.
With Rangers hunting for silverware in 2019/20, opportunities won’t come easily. The striker has one last opportunity to impress whilst in a Livi shirt, though, away at Motherwell, on Saturday.


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