Ianis Hagi’s move from Rangers to Alaves could benefit the midfielder with one former Romania international convinced that a fresh start in La Liga could be exactly what he needs.
Rangers legend Ally McCoist rather succinctly summed up the feeling towards Ianis Hagi a couple of months ago. The £3 million signing from Genk is a superb technician, boasts real poise in possession and can take a mean set-piece.
If only his feet were as quick as his mind, Rangers would have had one hell of a footballer on their hands.
“I think Hagi is half a yard short of being absolutely top class,” McCoist told talkSPORT (15 June, 9.30am). “I think, if he was half a yard quicker, he wouldn’t be with us.”
Rangers loan Ianis Hagi to La Liga outfit Alaves
The naturally slower, far less ferocious pace of Spanish football, then, could potentially coax far more out of Hagi than he ever showed during three-and-a-half frustrating years at Ibrox.
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Hagi joined La Liga newcomers Deportivo Alaves on loan over the weekend.
“It is a competition, La Liga, which lends itself very well to his style of play,” Gica Popescu, who played alongside Ianis’ legendary father Gheorghe Hagi for Romano and at Barcelona, tells ProSport.
“It’s a competition where most teams want to have the ball. It’s a style of play that suits Ianis very well.
“I am sure that, in the shortest period (of time), he’ll return to the form from before the injury. He is a player with potential and an extraordinary talent.”
‘It’s a dream to play in La Liga’
Hagi missed almost the entirety of last season through injury.A nd, after returning to full fitness, he found himself stuck behind Todd Cantwell and Sam Lammers in Mick Beale’s pecking order. His omission from last week’s Champions League play-off against PSV Eindhoven appeared to the final straw, a clear indication that Hagi was fighting a losing battle attempting to wrestle back his starting spot.
“It is a great opportunity, and a dream to play in La Liga,” Hagi tells Marca. “I have always wanted to improve, and it is an opportunity.
“I have grown physically in recent years ,and I have no problem working without the ball. Offensively, my style is to create.”