Could Ryan Hardie quickly earn another new Rangers contract?

General view of Ibrox Stadium ahead of the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership match between Rangers and Hibernian at Ibrox Stadium on August 12, 2017 in Glasgow, Scotland.

Glasgow Rangers announced last week that Ryan Hardie had signed a new deal at Ibrox.

Ryan Hardie of St Mirren misses a fine chance during the match beTFRED Cup Group Stage match between St Mirren and Edinburgh City at St Mirren Park on July 30, 2016 in Paisley, Scotland.

In news that undoubtedly delighted a large portion of the Rangers fans, the Ibrox club announced on their official website last week that Ryan Hardie had been awarded a one-year contract extension with the Scottish Premiership side as his previous deal ran into its final days.

Hardie is probably not being looked upon as the only answer as Steven Gerrard considers how to bolster his goalscoring options for next season, but it seemed to be an extremely wise decision to keep the 21-year-old after he enjoyed a very impressive loan spell at Livingston, where his eight goals in 14 games helped Livi on their way to securing promotion.

Czech Republic's Alex Kral (R) vies with Scotland's forward Ryan Hardie during the Under 21 international football third place match Czech Republic vs Scotland at the de Lattre-de-Tassigny...

With Alfredo Morelos and Eduardo Herrera currently the only strikers seemingly ahead of the youngster in the pecking order, it would be a shock if Gerrard did not sign another forward or two before the new campaign began, but perhaps the lack of options does give Hardie a potential opportunity to quickly earn another new contract.

With the Europa League qualifiers less than a month away, Gerrard is running out of time to get new strikers in before pre-season starts, and that may perhaps tempt the Gers boss to hand Hardie a chance or two in a couple of the friendlies.

Should that be the case and Hardie takes his opportunity with both hands, then perhaps Gerrard may need to seriously consider what sort of role Hardie has in the pecking order next year. He would have to do something truly ridiculous to leap ahead of Morelos for example, but he should certainly feel that the opportunity is there to make a statement to Gerrard.

Steven Gerrard is unveiled as the new manager of Rangers football Club at Ibrox Stadium on May 4, 2018 in Glasgow, Scotland.

It is unrealistic to expect Hardie to replicate his form for Livi as early as next season, but if he can get a few chances in the first-team and manages to score a handful of goals, then keeping him on a one-year deal seems to make little sense. 

It is too soon to predict that his spell in the Championship will prove to be a turning point in Hardie's Rangers career, but with Gerrard hardly having a large group of strikers to currently pick from, perhaps the door is ever so slightly open for the youngster to quickly prove that he needs to be tied down for longer.

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