Scottish Premiership giants Rangers sold Ryan Hardie last summer – and he is in top form now for League Two title-hopefuls Plymouth Argyle.
While Alfredo Morelos is stuck in a rut, enduring the worst run of his Rangers career, a man who walked away from Ibrox last summer just cannot stop scoring.
Ryan Hardie has taken his time to get going south of the border but, since joining promotion-chasing Plymouth Argyle on loan in the January transfer window, the Scotland youth star is finally showcasing the kind of lethal finishing that had many tipping him for greatness on the blue half of Glasgow.
Seven goals in 13 games; Hardie’s prolific purple patch has Ryan Lowe’s Green Army stomping up the League Two table. They are third as it stands, one point off the top.
No wonder his manager is thrilled.
“When I first spoke to Ryan I said I wanted a striker who was going to come and get me 10 goals until the end of the season. At the moment, he could get it, he could bypass it,” Lowe, a ruthless Football League striker in his playing days, told the Plymouth Herald.
“We have seen the talent in him. Did we feel he could plenty of goals in our team the way we play? 100 per cent, yeah.
“He sniffs goals out and that’s what he’s here to do.”
A boyhood Rangers fan who rose through the ranks at Auchenhowie, Hardy appeared to be on the verge of establishing himself as a first-team star at Ibrox – until Steven Gerrard took over in the summer of 2018 that is.
The former Liverpool captain has been hailed, and rightfully so, for dumping the deadwood and putting together a talented young squad full of character and quality.
But, with Hardie in the form of his life, Gerrard might be wondering whether his reluctance to give this natural-born goalscorer a run of games represents a rare transfer market blemish.