Ryan Hardie might no longer be the most exciting young striker at Rangers. 17-year-old Dapo Mebude has been turning heads with the youth teams while Zak Rudden cannot stop scoring during his loan spell at Falkirk.
But Hardie has finally returned after seven months out with injury to provide a timely reminder of his talents at the weekend. In his first Scottish Premiership start for Livingston, the on-loan forward marked a dream comeback with a goal in a 3-1 win against St Mirren.
And, after the game, the 21-year-old was asked about where his future lies with his contract due to expire at the end of this season. Could he still be a Rangers player by the time the 2019/20 season kicks off?
“I’ve got until the end of the season at Rangers and I’ve got the season here to prove I can do it in the top division,” Hardie told the Daily Record (live blog, 7.40am). “There’s usually someone from Rangers at every game.
“There’s a new loans manager (Billy Kirkwood) at Ibrox so I keep in contact with them. My ambition is to do well enough here to go back to Rangers and if I can make it there then great.
“If Rangers don’t see me having a future there I will do what I can here to put my name out there.”
If Rangers are keeping a close eye on Hardie, their scouts will certainly have been very impressed by the way he roared back to action for Livingston.
With the Express claiming that Steven Gerrard wants more depth in his attack, it remains to be seen whether he is willing to give Hardie a chance if he can prove his fitness at the Almondvale Stadium.
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