Warburton said: “He scores goals and he enjoys scoring goals, which is an important trait. Physically he's quick; he covers the ground really well. He enjoys spending time with the first-team squad, there was no fear or trepidation and importantly they took to him as well.”
Hardie, 18, looks to be a natural goalscorer, and he has already made his mark upon Rangers’ first-team over the past two seasons.
He scored twice on his full debut last season, appearing six times over all, and although he has fallen out of the team due to the quality ahead of him, he has still played three games. He has also appeared on the bench 12 times this term, and it is clear that Warburton rats him highly.
With Kenny Miller’s influence fading over time, and Martyn Waghorn the only consistent goalscoring striker in the squad, Hardie’s role in the first-team is likely to increase as the season wears on.
He will be a good option as a super-sub when a goal is needed, and appearances at senior level will improve his development path and increase his chances of becoming a top class striker.
Hardie is playing under a manager who has a proven record of youth development, and Warburton will be central if the young striker is to reach his undoubted potential.