Just as Rangers were counting their blessings regarding Joe Aribo, they’ve been left cursing them when it comes to an injury to Ianis Hagi ahead of the clash with Livingston.
Speaking to the media ahead of the Ibrox side’s visit of the Lions in the Scottish Premiership, manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst broke some sad news surrounding the Ibrox #7.
Ianis Hagi will be out for the season after having surgery on a knee issue sustained in the 4-0 win over Stirling Albion in what is a major blow to both Rangers and the attacking midfielder.
Taking a much more prominent role in the side this season, the 23-year-old is a van Bronckhorst regular and has spoken frequently about his desire to take his game to the next level this campaign.
For Ianis Hagi himself – and for a Rangers side increasingly reliant on him – this is a major blow for the Ibrox club.
This somewhat dampens the energy driven by the imminent return of midfielder Joe Aribo, who comes back to Rangers after Nigeria prematurely crashed out of the Africa Cup of Nations.
It gave Gers supporters something to celebrate ahead of the upcoming run of fixtures – and that trip to Celtic Park – and van Bronckhorst confirmed Joe’s imminent arrival back at the club.
Whilst the Nigerian will be assessed ahead of the match with Livingston, Aribo will be back available for selection for the weekend’s clash with Ross County.
Ryan Jack, Scott Arfield and Joe Aribo return as Rangers lose Ianis Hagi to injury
That isn’t the only squad news coming out of Rangers ahead of the visit of Livingston either, as van Bronckhorst gives an update surrounding several first-team stars.
Rangers are boosted by the return of both Scott Arfield and Ryan Jack, major news that might be buried by what’s happened to Ianis Hagi.
But the Livingston game will come too soon for both Filip Helander, who is back training, and Steven Davis, who will join back up with his Rangers teammates in the not so distant future.
Attention will now turn to how Rangers react to the Ianis Hagi news in the transfer market given just how increasingly important the midfielder has been this season.
If there is one saving grace for Rangers it’s that this injury has occurred whilst the club can properly assess their options and add to them but van Bronckhorst talked down any panic buys.
Confirming that finding a solution to Hagi’s absence is something Rangers are looking at, the Ibrox manager was clear that only a player of the appropriate ability would be added to the squad.
With many Rangers fans believing that the club needed a right-winger and a midfielder before the injury to Ianis, the situation may possibly light a fire underneath Ibrox with six days remaining of the window.
van Bronckhorst himself even confirmed at the end of his press conference that Rangers are looking to add a player to the squad in the coming days.
But many Rangers fans will be eager to see someone other than defensive option and pre-contract signing John Souttar – subject to a rejected bid in the week – come in to bolster the club’s creative options.
Speaking of Rangers transfers, one Ibrox-linked Gers star has reportedly seen a £2m bid rejected from a divisional rival at his current club.