A famous win against fierce rivals Celtic in an Old Firm derby does not hide the fact that Rangers require more power upfront to convert their chances. Steven Gerrard, the Ibrox boss, is reportedly [Sunday Express] eyeing a busy winter with multiple new inclusions similar to the summer window. However, roping in a new striker is set to be his topmost priority claimed by the outlet Sunday Express back in early November.
Gerrard, meanwhile, is still keen on recruiting a ‘number 9’ to ease the burden off Alfredo Morelos and might recall in-form Ryan Hardie, currently on loan with Livingston, according to Daily Record.
“It’s a possibility we might recall Ryan. We’re discussing it but haven’t made a final decision. It will depend on if we’re able to add someone to the squad. If we do that we’ll probably leave him where he is.”
Stated the gaffer who knows how difficult it would be to wrap up a prolific centre-forward signing in the January window. He has already axed AS Roma-loanee Umar Sadiq mid-season [The Scottish Sun] as the Nigerian failed to settle in Glasgow whereas veteran Kyle Lafferty is yet to take charge of the Gers’ frontline since completing a return to his former club in the aftermath of a successful stint with Hearts last season.
Morelos, however, is in blistering form so far having notched 20 goals in 34 outings across all competitions. But the Colombian needs more support high up the pitch, and the recent run of Hardie should see him securing a place in Gerrard’s plan ahead of a new name.
The Rangers academy prodigy missed out on months of football through injuries but is now back in business scoring five goals in seven games for the Premiership new boys. Although Gary Holt, the Livi boss must be desperate to keep hold of the youngster until the end of the ongoing term, he has no authority whatsoever over the future of Hardie and would have to let him rejoin his parent club if called back within the next few days.
The player, right now, is enjoying regular minutes in the top tier of Scottish football and a return to Rangers would be a step back for his career growth if deployed as the understudy of both Morelos and Lafferty.
Gerrard, therefore, must analyse all the aspects minutely before making the final call and should only bring Hardie back if the striking sensation belongs to his first-team objectives for the remainder of this constructive campaign.