Is Andy Dallas' form pushing Ryan Hardie closer to Rangers exit?

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 striker Andy Dallas is attracting plenty of attention at Ibrox while Ryan Hardie has made just one appearance this season.

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.

With Rangers announcing on their official website in the summer that Ryan Hardie had agreed a one-year deal to run until the end of this season, it seemed clear that the Gers were suggesting that as impressed as they had been with his form out on loan last term, they still had their doubts as to whether he was going to make the grade at Ibrox.

The one-year contract extension announcement was swiftly followed by the news that he had returned to Livingston on loan. That appeared to be a golden opportunity for the 21-year-old after he helped Livi reach the Scottish Premiership last season.

 

It was always going to take a while for Hardie to get back into the fold after seeing his season end prematurely due to an injury that also kept him sidelined at the start of this campaign.

But unfortunately for Hardie, his time with Livingston has still not gone to plan, with just one substitute appearance coming so far. Needless to say, he is yet to score this season.

General Views of Ibrox Stadium before the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership match between Rangers and Hamilton Academical at Ibrox Stadium on August 6, 2016 in Glasgow, Scotland.

It is too soon to suggest that Hardie's Rangers career is finished. But his lack of game-time does perhaps make it imperative that he enjoys a superb run of form at some stage of the campaign, especially with Andy Dallas winning plenty of admirers at Ibrox.

Dallas is putting together a fantastic run for the youth sides, with 10 goals coming in his last seven appearances, including a hat-trick against Hamburg recently.

With Alfredo Morelos performing superbly and Kyle Lafferty also available, Steven Gerrard probably does not feel that he needs a large group of strikers in his squad, and thus, Dallas could have a genuine case to be considered Rangers' third choice forward ahead of Umar Sadiq.

Rangers' English manager Steven Gerrard is seen before kick off of the UEFA Europa League Group G football match between Rangers and Rapid Wien at Ibrox Stadium in Glasgow on October 4,...

And if Dallas continues to perform at his current level and even gets a couple of opportunities to be involved with the first-team squad, then perhaps Rangers will feel slightly more assured about the idea of letting Hardie leave when his current deal runs down. 

Hardie has more than enough time and potential to put together the kind of streak that could seemingly change Rangers' mind again, but Dallas is arguably threatening to make his chances of an Ibrox future look slimmer. 

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