Rangers secured passage to the last 16 of the Europa League on Wednesday night with an excellent performance in Braga giving them a 4-2 aggregate win, and Ianis Hagi was at the forefront once again.

The Gers signed the 21-year-old on loan from Genk in the final throes of the January transfer window, and he’s made a major impact over the past month.

He scored twice during last week’s dramatic first-leg comeback and while he missed a penalty in Portugal, he did play a huge part in the winning goal.

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Ianis Hagi celebrates his first leg winner for Rangers against Braga at Ibrox. (Photo by MB Media/Getty Images)

It was his vision and stunning pass which sent Kent through to slot home in the 61st minute.

He’s a player who, despite his relative inexperience, oozes confidence, and the extent of his self-belief was laid bare in the 22nd minute.

Rangers were awarded a free-kick around 25 yards from goal and Hagi brushed aside both James Tavernier and Borna Barisic to take responsibility.



That act is impressive in itself for a young player who has only just arrived at the club.

However, what might have escaped some viewers, is that he took the free-kick with his left foot.

Hagi struck his audacious free-kick over the crossbar. (Photo by Jose Manuel Alvarez/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)

Hagi does a good job of hiding it, but he is in fact right-footed. He struck last week’s winning free-kick with his right and took his unsuccessful penalty with the same peg.

In this instance, the end product wasn’t great, as he fired over the bar. However, the sheer audacity of switching feet just because the position of the set-piece may suit that approach, is quite remarkable.

It wasn’t his best moment of the night, but it was certainly his most daring.

Rangers have a real star on their hands with major potential. Therefore, it would be a major surprise if his option to buy clause wasn’t triggered come the summer.

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