By Abigail Withey
Pedro Caixinha has revealed that Ryan Hardie returned to the Rangers first team squad after the club doctor told him that the young forward was a goalscorer.
The 20-year-old began his career at the Rangers academy as a young boy and was called up for his debut performance with the senior squad back in September 2014 during the club’s League Cup victory over Falkirk.
The centre-forward has only made a total of 11 appearances for the Light Blues where he also provided two goals.
He joined the club permanently on a two-year-deal in the summer of 2016, but has been away from the Ibrox on a number of loan spells with Raith Rovers and St Mirrens.
Hardie made an appearance in Gers’ most recent Premiership match against Hearts where the Scotsman came on in the 72nd minute of their goalless draw.
Caixinha spoke about how the club doctor recommended the young forward, as he believed he was an excellent goalscorer.
The Rangers boss said: “I was told by our doctor, who likes him a lot, that he was a goalscorer, he is definitely a goalscorer, and when he has a chance he scores,” told Caixinha, as quoted by Rangers official website.
Caixinha also said that Hardie has also become one of the club’s many options after forward Martyn Waghorn moved to English side Ipswich Town.
“He is an option for us after Martyn left the club.
“So we have Kenny, we have Alfredo, we have Eduardo and Ryan and Zak (Rudden) can be options for us if a situation like this happens.
“We have no problem at all to place him on the pitch.”
The Light Blues’ boss then commented on potentially using more players grown through the club’s youth academy.
“Last season we used a lot of players from the youth system and this season we are already using it, so that means of course that we use it if we have the need and we will use it if they have the quality to perform with us.
“It’s always important to look at what we have inside the club.”
After looking promising during pre-season, Rangers have not had the start to their Premiership campaign that they would’ve hoped for.
Expectations were high after Caixinha recruited a number over players over the transfer window, but Rangers hit a blip when they were defeated 3-2 by newly promoted side Hibernian which was then followed by the 0-0 draw against Hearts at the weekend.
In other Rangers news, Alex McLeish has tipped this Premiership club to finish above the Gers.