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Gerrard praises ‘ultimate professional’ Hagi and expects big season

The Rangers boss has been impressed with the attacker's dedication.

Gerrard praises ‘ultimate professional’ Hagi and expects big season SNS Group

Steven Gerrard has praised his attacker Ianis Hagi for his recent form and believes the player’s professionalism can help him develop even further.

The player, son of iconic Romanian player Gheorge Hagi, joined Rangers from Genk in 2020, initially on loan, and has grown into an important part of Gerrard’s team.

The manager has been impressed with Hagi’s growth during his time in Glasgow and thinks he will continue to improve and Rangers can reap the benefits this season.

“He is in a fantastic place,” Gerrard said. “He has had a full pre-season.

“He got that unfortunate kick against Livingston which set him back a bit obviously, but the kid just seems to be growing and evolving every year.

“He is the ultimate professional, he wants to learn and grow and get better.

“We are all well aware of the stable he has come from, he has a real iconic father who he wants to follow in the footsteps of. We don’t want to put that pressure on him but there is a lot of traits in terms of his professionalism and how he goes about it, he loves the game and he just wants to get to the top.

“We can see the development in him every season, he seems to be getting stronger, he has adapted to the league a lot better and his performances have been really strong.

“I expect him to have a real good season if we can keep him healthy.”

Gerrard had vented his frustration over the team’s performance in Thursday’s Europa League play-off win over Alashkert, suggesting some players need to add “fight and desire” and he will be looking for a reaction when Rangers travel to play Ross County on Sunday.

Thought next week brings the return leg of that crucial European tie, followed by the first derby of the season against Celtic, the manager says his team selection for Dingwall will be focused on the Premiership match at hand, not the tests to come.

“I am excited about picking a team for the weekend,” Gerrard said.

“I think it is a real interesting game for us going up to Dingwall. It is a game we are looking forward to.

“That’s my job is to try and pick the right team selection.

“I am not going to give any clues away, which way I am going, but I will pick the players in form who I think can do the job up there. It is as simple as that.”