Mercurial Rangers star must return for big Europa League clash after Old Firm snub
Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

Rangers star Ianis Hagi must be recalled for Standard Liege clash after Celtic snub

When Rangers take on Standard Liege in Belgium on Thursday evening, Ianis Hagi should be in the starting XI.

The mercurial 21-year-old was overlooked for the first Old Firm of 2020, with the pace of Brandon Barker preferred at Parkhead.

Brandon Barker got the nod for the Old Firm ahead of Ianis Hagi. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Then, while Ryan Jack, Joe Aribo and Cedric Itten made substitute appearances, he was left on the bench.


The Romania international is still young and his time will come on derby day but he’s Gerrard’s best option for the right-sided attacking slot in Liege.

Barker failed to impress at the weekend, while Jordan Jones is unavailable after missing out on the extended squad for the group stages.

Joe Aribo is a potential candidate for the berth but after only making the briefest of cameo appearances on Saturday following over two months out due to injury, he’s unlikely to be fit enough to start.

As a result, creative talent, Hagi, who has seven assists from his last seven appearances in all competitions, must get the nod.

Ianis Hagi should start Rangers’ Europa League group stage opener against Standard Liege. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

The summer signing hasn’t quite hit top gear in terms of his all-round performances this season but those numbers speak for themselves.

He’s more capable of picking a key pass in the final third than most others in the Rangers squad and he thrived in the Europa League last season.

Hagi scored a brace in the dramatic Round of 32 comeback win over Braga at Ibrox in February before assisting the only goal in the away leg a week later.

Gerrard may not think he’s quite ready for the rough and tumble of an Old Firm but he’s set to be a key man for the Gers in Europe this season and there’s every chance he could have a defining say at the Stade Maurice Dufrasne.

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