Rangers manager Steven Gerrard said that Ianis Hagi “showed glimpses of magic” during the Gers’ 4-0 win over Falkirk in the Betfred Cup.
Goals from Jermain Defoe, Calvin Bassey, Borna Barisic and James Tavernier sealed the win, with Gerrard rotating his side heavily for the trip to Falkirk Stadium.
Hagi, who has been out of favour in recent weeks, played the full 90 minutes and had some nice touches in and around the box.
Speaking after the match, Gerrard praised the Romanian international and said he deserved the opportunity to play.
“We don’t see them as fringe players, we see it as a big squad full of quality,” he said (via Daily Record).
“We can only pick 11 from game to game and people deserved their opportunity tonight. Ianis Hagi showed glimpses of his magic with his through balls and his quality and I was pleased to get these guys 90 minutes. Cedric Itten did everything but score, it was a really strong performance and he worked his socks off.
“It was also good to give some players their debuts, allowing us to get others off the pitch at the right time. We managed to rest a few players with a big game against Standard Liege on Thursday coming up so I go away happy. We are in a good place.”
After making a flying start to the season Hagi has really fallen out of favour and has not started in the league or Europa League since late October.
While he is undoubtedly a talented player, Scott Arfield and Joe Aribo have jumped ahead of him in the pecking order, while Gerrard has continued to opt for two of Glen Kamara, Steven Gerrard and Ryan Jack in the biggest games.
While Hagi had some nice touches against Falkirk, there was nothing from him to say that he will force his way back into the starting lineup and he would have hoped for a more flashy performance in all likelihood.
There are plenty of games to go around this season with Rangers still in three competitions, but Hagi may need to wait until he earns his next start.
In other Rangers news, Barry Ferguson has been impressed with one Gers player