There will be more than just a result on the line for Ianis Hagi when Rangers take on Slavia Prague as he comes up against a familiar opponent.
Nicolae Stanciu is a Romanian attacker who plays for Slavia and he is Hagi’s international rival as they both challenge for the same spot in the Romania national side.
Former Romanian players turned pundits have been discussing how big the match is for Romania and who is the better player out of Hagi and Stanciu.
Lucian Goian, two-time winner of the Romanian cup, is quoted by LookSport as praising Stanciu and not being impressed by Hagi.
He said, “Ianis is good too, but Stanciu stands out more, many more balls pass by him. He comes out in front, he is a better performer of fixed phases, he gets more involved.
“I can see Stanciu more. Rangers was OK, but they didn’t impress me much, they scored five goals in two games against a not very strong team.”
Eric de Oliveira, who currently plays for Romanian first division side CS Gaz Metan Mediaș instead prefers Hagi after his performance against Royal Antwerp.
“Ianis has figured over Stanciu in won duels and dribbles. I see Ianis in the last matches was stronger than when he was in Romania.
“In yesterday’s match he fought a lot, even if he didn’t score or score, he fought, he won duels, he was the third man in the goal phase. We see a stronger Ianis.”
It seems as though the stakes will be higher for Hagi when we take on Slavia as the game will no doubt be of interest to Romania national boss Mirel Radoi.
Hagi has been very impressive in recent weeks and he will be looking to prove he is the better player when he comes up against Stanciu.
We, of course, are backing Hagi to perform and show he is the better of the two players and we’re sure he would love to grab a goal against the side featuring his international rival.
This is a huge game for Rangers and the stakes have been raised ever so slightly by this new aspect.
In other Rangers news, Arsenal have joined the hunt for a Gers linked starlet, according to a new report.