Romania legend Adrian Mutu has implored Ianis Hagi to stay at Rangers rather than follow Steven Gerrard to Premier League giants Aston Villa, speaking to Pro Sport.
Gerrard might have been the man who brought Hagi to Ibrox in the first place but, if his early displays under Giovanni van Bronckhorst are anything to go by, it is the Dutchman who could take the 23-year-old’s game to a whole new level.
Hagi’s performance in Sunday’s 3-1 victory over Livingston was not quite as eye-catching as his dominant display three days earlier against Sparta Prague – he set up Alfredo Morelos’ opener in a win which secured Rangers’ place in the Europa League knock-out stages – but there were still enough flashes of quality to suggest that the Romania international will have a huge part to play in the Van Bronckhorst era.
Pressing ferociously and dovetailing beautifully with James Tavernier; If the former Feyenoord boss can instil some consistency into Hagi’s game then Premiership defenders up and down the land will be suffering their fair share of sleepless nights between now and May.
Will Ianis Hagi stay at Rangers?
“I do not understand why Ianis has to leave,” former Chelsea, Juventus and Fiorentina striker Mutu said when asked about reports linking the £9.5 million-rated Hagi with Gerrard’s Aston Villa.
“Rangers are a great team and I think Ianis needs to strengthen in his position and become a goalscorer.
“He needs a goal. He also needs a goal for the national team. People are waiting for the goal. The moment the goal comes, then he will have a different status.
“I think he is producing very good performances at Rangers and (the Scottish Premiership) is not an easy league.”
Like Van Bronckhorst, Steven Gerrard has won both of his first two games as Aston Villa manager, John McGinn’s stunner sealing a comfortable and commanding 2-1 victory away to Crystal Palace last time out.
It would be a major shock if Gerrard made it three from three, however, with Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City travelling to Birmingham on Wednesday night.