16 goals; 12 assists: Umar Sadiq is thriving after Rangers exit

5th May 2019, Ibrox Stadium, Glasgow, Scotland; Ladbrokes Premiership football, Rangers versus Hibernian; General view of Ibrox Stadium

One year ago today, Steven Gerrard cut Umar Sadiq's loan spell at Rangers short after just a handful of Scottish Premiership games.

(L-R) Umar Sadiq of FK Partizan, Teun Koopmeiners of AZ during the UEFA Europa League group L match between AZ Alkmaar and FK Partizan at Cars Jeans stadium on November 28, 2019 in The...

With 16 goals and 12 assists, it’s fair to say Umar Sadiq has been a man reborn since his miserable spell at Rangers came to an early end in December last year.

In fact, it was exactly 12 months ago today when the Sun broke the news that the Roma loanee was set to see his season-long loan deal brought to an end after just four months at Ibrox. Sadiq, who arrived in Glasgow amid big expectations, departed with his reputation in tatters.

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Four games, no goals, and one cringeworthy dive against Aberdeen in the Scottish League Cup semi-final – that was all Sadiq managed to muster in the famous royal blue shirt.

 

But since being given the chance to jump-start his stalling career in Serbia over the summer, Sadiq hasn’t looked back.

A clinical brace in Partizan Belgrade’s 4-1 thrashing of Astana in the Europa League on Thursday night took the Nigerian’s 2019/20 tally to 16. Sadiq has 12 assists under his belt too, using his fearsome 6ft 4ins frame to create plentiful chances for his grateful Partizan team-mates.

Umar Sadiq of Rangers vies with Michael Devlin of Aberdeen during the Betfred Scottish League Cup Semi Final match between Aberdeen and Rangers at Hapden Park on October 28, 2018 in...

“I believe absolutely that I was not given a fair chance to show what I can do. They made me feel like a stranger,” Sadiq told the Sunday Post in March, clearly disappointed about the way his spell at Rangers disintegrated under Steven Gerrard.

“I started only once (in the League Cup semi-final against Aberdeen) and that was when there were no other strikers available.”

Gerrard hasn’t done much wrong since taking over at Ibrox in 2018. But even he might admit now, one year on, that Sadiq deserved more than four brief appearances in Rangers colours.

Umar Sadiq of Rangers battles for the ball with Michael Devlin of Aberdeen during the Betfred Scottish League Cup Semi Final between Aberdeen and Rangers at Hampden Park on October 28,...

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