Former Rangers star Thomas Buffel insists that Ianis Hagi’s recent struggles aren’t the Romanian’s fault and believes that his team-mates have to ask themselves if they can do more.
The summer signing has struggled to get going so far this season, leading to criticism from some Rangers fans, but Buffel thinks that people need to remember that Hagi is still only 21.
Hagi initially joined the Gers on loan last January and impressed for Steven Gerrard’s side and Buffel admits that he can understand why there is expectation of his shoulders given the fee paid to make his move permanent.
“You have to remember he’s still only 21 and not every player is ready at 21 and some players develop faster than others,” Buffel said, as quoted by the Daily Record.
“If you want someone who is ready then maybe it’s better to buy a player at, say, 24. But I also understand when a club pays £3m for a player then they want him to be ready.
“The ideal scenario is to buy three or four players at £3m with the younger ones given time to develop but if you spend that kind of money one position then that person has to do well.
“It’s not Hagi’s fault, that’s just the situation he is in and he has to deal with that. But it’s not fair to put the pressure on one man. Everyone has to look in the mirror and say, ‘Can I do more?’.”
Hagi has shown glimpses of his undoubted talent this season and it is understandable fans expect more from him.
He’s far from the only one though who hasn’t quite hit the heights this season and, particularly against Livingston, the attacking players have made heavy work of breaking down opposition defences.
There’s still plenty of time though for Hagi to come good though and this weekend’s clash with Killie would be an ideal starting point.