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Ianis Hagi's season ending early may open the door for 18-year-old youngster at Rangers - opinion

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Alex Lowry may have an opportunity to stake his claim for a place in Giovanni Van Bronckhorst’s side as the manager confirms Ianis Hagi’s season is over.

Hagi sustained an injury after 15 minutes last Friday night in Rangers’ home tie against Stirling Albion. 

The manager today confirmed the Romanian’s season has ended abruptly. 

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Speaking in his Livingston pre-match press conference, manager Van Bronckhorst confirmed the player has undergone surgery.

“Ianis (Hagi) needed an operation, he went for this yesterday and we will sadly be missing Ianis for the season. 

“I spoke to Ianis yesterday; he is positive and focused on his recovery.”

It comes as a blow to Rangers as the run-in for the championship and subsequent champions league qualification is underway.

Hagi had been a visible favourite of the new manager, starting all but one of the games under Giovanni Van Bronckhorst.

GVB admitted he may enter the market for a replacement with less than a week of the transfer window remaining 

“Missing Ianis (Hagi) is a big blow. We will look to add a player if they are right, but we would only add someone who will improve the talented group.”

Replacement could already be at the club

Giovanni Van Bronckhorst may look within the club for a replacement for Ianis Hagi.

Hagi’s replacement last Friday night was youngster Alex Lowry.

Lowry made his debut for his boyhood club, scoring the opening goal of the game.

Fans praised the youngster on social media and encouraged GVB to give him a chance in the first team squad.

After the game, GVB said “We’re really impressed with him when he’s trained with us, and I think you saw today what he can bring to a squad.

“He’s still a young player so he has many things to improve but I think if you see the game today, he’s at a good level already so we’re ready to develop him even further.

“You want to give academy players a pathway to the first team and of course when I put him in it’s because I have trust in him and his abilities.

“When he’s performing like that, he makes his manager very proud, not just me but the club and the academy.”

Reports from the Daily Record this week have suggested that the talented youngster is set to be offered a new deal.

Lowry’s contract expires next summer.

The club wish to tie him down for longer to fend off interest from down south.

Is Alex Lowry ready?

It is a tough decision for GVB in such a vital season

It may be a risk to throw him in at the ‘deep end’ but if he is good enough then age should be irrelevant.

He is obviously untested, having only played against a league two side but there is only one way to find out if he is ready.

The fans have asked for him to be given the chance.

If Lowry feels ready, he should be knocking the managers door and stating he is Hagi’s replacement.

The club need to start seeing a return on the youth academy.

Nathan Patterson’s club record £16m move to Everton is the model Rangers need to maintain.

Positive news for Rangers

Van Bronckhorst confirmed that Ryan Jack and Scott Arfield were available for the match-day squad tomorrow.

The news will be welcomed as Scott Arfield has looked rejuvenated under GVB.

Fans will also be delighted to see Ryan Jack back in contention. Hopefully he can overcome his horrific injury woes of the past two seasons.

If Jack can get back to fitness he could be like a new signing for Rangers.

GVB also confirmed that Joe Aribo would return to Glasgow tomorrow.

The game against Livingston will likely be too soon for him but he will be in the squad for the weekend.

Rangers fans will be eager to see Aribo back in action as he has without a doubt been Rangers Player of the Season.

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