Ally McCoist has heaped praise on Rangers playmaker Ianis Hagi following his assist for Ryan Kent’s winner in the 1-0 victory over SC Braga on Wednesday evening.
The Romanian was guilty of missing a first half penalty in Portugal, drawing a superb save from the home goalkeeper.
But he more than made up for his error just after the hour mark when his early ball cleaved the Braga defence in two and allowed Kent to scamper through and finish for the decisive opener.
And McCoist was bowled over by what he saw from the 21-year-old.
“I gave him a little bit of stick in the first half for not having the pace and not releasing it earlier.
“But he is facing the other way there and has an awareness of people around him on the football park.
“He knows where Kent is and that is one of the balls of the season. He knows he is in behind.
“He is so gifted you and I didn’t know what foot he was going to hit the penalty with.
“We saw it in the game at Ibrox, the left foot shot. The No 10 role might suit him role, he’s playing behind a front man [against Braga] but that pass there.
“He knows what is happening there and there wasn’t anybody on the park or in the Rangers team who knew that. Technically he is extremely gifted.”
How good was Hagi on Wednesday?
Make no mistakes, this was not a perfect performance from the Romanian.
His penalty miss was one thing, but there other slightly concerning signs too, not least his lack of natural pace.
That being said, the best players only need to turn on the style for a split second, and when you can read a game and manipulate a ball as well as Hagi can, you can pretty much afford to stand still instead of tearing about all over the shop.
And that was the case in Portugal.
He may have only had two shots, two key passes, and one successful dribble, as per Whoscored, but when it came down to it, it was his quality – as well as Kent’s composure – that ultimately made the difference.
The Gers have a special talent on their hands here.
In other Rangers news, Ibrox View: Imperious Gers 22y/o surely answered key Gerrard conundrum v Braga.