Rotherham United boss Paul Warne has told The Star that he expects winger Jake Hastie to stay in Yorkshire until the end of the season, despite Rangers having the option to recall him this month.
The 20-year-old speedster enjoyed a spectacular start to his stint South of the border, scoring in each of his first three games for the Millers and earning big praise from the fans.
However, he’s found it difficult to maintain those early high standards, failing to score and registering a solitary assist in his last 15 appearances.
As the season has worn on, his playing time has decreased, too. He’s gone from a regular starter to at best coming on as an impact sub in the second half of League One matches.
However, Warne says he doesn’t want the deal to be terminated early.
“I expect him to be here, he hasn’t probably as played as much as he would like, but then I could say that about a few players,” he told The Star. “I would still expect him to be here and I would expect him to play a part in the next few games.”
“He is the same as everyone else, if he plays well and does everything we want and plays to his best then he will stay in the team.
“Whether Rangers will call him back because they won’t be happy with his game time, that is something you will have to ask them, but I would like to keep him.”
This isn’t quite the effusive praise that Warne was giving Hastie earlier in the season when he referred to him as a ‘dream’ [Rotherham Advertiser]. However, it’s clear that he still sees him as having a role to play in his Rotherham side.
It’s a difficult situation for the player to be in.
Terminating the deal and returning to his parent club now, just like Ovie Ejaria did by heading back to Liverpool from Ibrox in December 2018, would look like an admission of defeat. Like he’d given up when the going got tough at down south.
However, it must be frustrating to be sitting on the bench when you’re out on loan with the express intention of getting game time.
The thing is, there’s no guarantee the grass will be greener at Ibrox.
If he returns he could be used as something of a wildcard option across the second half of the season, an impact sub when things get tight. Or, he could see himself omitted from matchday squads and featuring exclusively for the Colts and Development sides, just as Glenn Middleton did last season.
These are the factors that both Hastie and Rangers will need to mull over, before making a decision this month.