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Daily Record
Daily Record
Gabriel McKay

Ianis Hagi tipped for the top with Rangers as youngster given 'best 10 players in the world' assessment

Rangers star Ianis Hagi is "one of the top 10 players in the world" for his age bracket, according to a former Romanian international.

The 22-year-old joined Steven Gerrard's squad permanently last summer, having arrived on an initial loan from Genk.

He's managed nine assists and five goals in the Premiership this season, and was impressive in the Europa League win over Royal Antwerp.

There's a lot of interest in the attacking midfielder back in his native Romania, as the song of the country's greatest football Gheorghe Hagi.

And Ianis Zicu, who was once seen as the heir to the 'Maradona of the Carpathians' believes the Rangers talent must be judged on his own merits.

Gheorghe Hagi with his son Ianis when he signed for Belgian club Genk (UGC)

Zicu explained: "Hagi's name is definitely a burden, and it put a strain on me too.

"Because when I was young a lot of people compared me to Gica and it affected me negatively because I thought I was better than I was at that level.

"In my opinion we need to judge Ianis strictly on the qualities he has.

"He has some really high level qualities in terms of his vision, how he strikes the ball and how he handles situations on the pitch.

"There's no point expecting Ianis to dribble past three or four players and go straight to the goal, or to run with it at full pace.

"He can't do those things, but in terms of what he can do I think he's in the top 10 players in the world in his age category.

"By which I mean how he hits the ball, how he passes, how he thinks about the game."

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