Rangers forward Ryan Hardie hit the net again for Livingston on Saturday – less than 24 hours after playing for Scotland Under-21’s in Andorra – and the prolific hitman is putting the Gers hierarchy in a difficult situation as his contract runs down.
Hardie’s Gers deal is up in the summer and at 21 is a similar age to first-team regulars Jason Cummings, Greg Docherty and Alfredo Morelos.
While the striker arguably isn’t quite on the same level as those players yet, he is continuing to impress on a regular basis and make the case that he is worthy of an extension at Ibrox.
Although Hardie has scored regularly for Livi since heading to the Tony Macaroni Arena, he isn’t likely to force his way into a starting spot in the near future and – if he is given an extended deal at Ibrox – could find himself out on loan again next season.
There’s not much longer that the Gers can wait for Hardie to fulfill his potential and become a first-team player at Ibrox but he’s in the awkward position of not being quite good enough to push his way into the first-team but at the same time isn’t quite bad enough to make it an easy decision to let him move on.
It might end up that the Gers give Hardie another year to show what he can do and prove he deserves a chance to lead the line for the Ibrox giants but time is running out for Hardie to stake that claim and earn a long-term stay at Ibrox.
In other Rangers news, the club must blow Celtic out of the water to sign the next Moussa Dembele.