By Dan Carter

13th Sep, 2023 | 8:40pm

Ianis Hagi could prove Rangers made a mistake as he shuts down injury question

Ianis Hagi is clearly in fight mode as questions remain about his fitness following his loan exit from Rangers to Deportivo Alaves.

Earlier this week, Romania’s technical director claimed the 24-year-old attacking midfielder was not ready for international football (Fanatik, 10 September) after he was an unused substitute in his country’s 1-1 draw with Israel in Euro 2024 qualifying (9 September).

Fast forward three days and Hagi started as Romania defeated Kosovo 2-0, a result that leaves his country second in Group I as they attempt to qualify for the tournament in Germany next summer, as he continues to work towards full fitness after a serious ACL injury that saw his Rangers career stall.

As quoted by the Daily Record on Wednesday (13 September) Hagi said: “The injury was 10 months ago. I’m 100 per cent ready. I have played matches. Physically, I’m amazing. My stats are even better. I don’t want to discuss it anymore.”

It is the continuation of a frustrating theme for Hagi, who found himself down the pecking order at Ibrox under Michael Beale, who opted not to include him in the squad for the Champions League play-off tie against PSV.

While it looked as though Beale had been proven right in his decision to send the Romanian on loan this season following Stoichita’s comments earlier in the week, it seems as though Hagi is in a combative mood and ready to prove people wrong.

Hagi was vocal in his unhappiness with the number of minutes he had played for the Light Blues in the early stages of the season following the Gers’ Viaplay Cup win over Greenock Morton, where he left several fans impressed.

He seems to have recovered well from the injury and he was effective in Romania’s win on Tuesday, playing 72 minutes and earning a 7.0 rating from Fotmob, winning a majority of his defensive duels and making 10 passes into the final third.

If Hagi can transfer his international form to his domestic football with Deportivo Alaves in La Liga, it may be deemed as yet another mistake made by Beale after he deemed the midfielder surplus to requirements this season. But with the poor form early in the campaign, it’s hard to see how having Hagi in the squad would have made the start to the season any worse.

The pressure is mounting on the Rangers boss and he can’t afford to make too many more wrong decisions or it could be the end of his time in Glasgow.

In other Rangers news, Rabbi Matondo’s former coach has heaped praise on the Light Blues winger.