After Sunday’s 1-1 draw with Motherwell, a number of Rangers fans have suggested on social media that the absence of Ianis Hagi is a key factor in the team’s current lack of form.
Hagi has been unavailable for the Gers’ last three fixtures after testing positive for Covid whilst on international duty.
His father, Gheorghe, stated a week ago that Ianis was at home recuperating in Bucharest and Steven Gerrard asserted in midweek that the club are trying to get him back as soon as possible.
Prior to testing positive, he had scored twice and notched one assist in six 2021/22 appearances.
The Gers won the first fixture he missed against St Johnstone but lost against Lyon in the Europa League on Thursday night and drew with Motherwell at Ibrox in the Premiership on Sunday afternoon.
A number of other important players were also missing for the flag day clash, including Filip Helander, Ryan Jack and Ryan Kent, but as Hagi is arguably the most creative attacking player on the books at Ibrox, plenty of supporters feel that it’s his absence that’s proving to be the most significant.
Hagi is badly missed just for that little bit of extra quality and composure. Let's hope he's back soon.
— Rangers Van Banter (@RangersBanter17) September 19, 2021
We are badly missing Hagi, sooner he’s back the better pic.twitter.com/4GlDKYFvLX
— Kevin Geddes (@Geddes1989) September 19, 2021
The sooner @IanisHagi10 is back the better
— Clarke Chambers (@clarkechambers) September 19, 2021
— Alastair Robb🇮🇹 (@SADTO11) September 19, 2021
Not having Ianis Hagi has affected us so much more than I thought it would.
We need him. He’s just different.
— 𝐒𝐜𝐨𝐭𝐭 🇳🇬 🇿🇲 🇨🇴 (@RakoTuke) September 19, 2021
its been a rocky start with injuries and covid, only thing to take is we are 4 points clear of celtic and our form has been up and down, wait till we click, guys like sakala and bacuna need more gametime, and we really miss hagi
— Alfie 🇬🇧🇬🇧 (@alfie_west_55) September 19, 2021
Profligacy was the main issue in the first half against Motherwell but there was a real lack of creativity from Rangers both during the Lyon defeat and after Motherwell’s equaliser.
There’s little doubt that if Hagi had been on the pitch – whether from the start or off the bench – more chances would have been created.
The 22-year-old is far from the finished article and he doesn’t always get it right, but he sees things others don’t and has the ability to unlock defences.
His return should now be imminent and if he’s managed to maintain his fitness levels whilst isolating, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him go straight back into the fold.