By James Black

Steven Thompson believes Rangers should give 20-year-old striker Ryan Hardie a chance in the first-team as Alfredo Morelos continues to struggle to score.

Hardie spent last season on loan with St. Mirren and Raith Rovers before returning to Ibrox over the summer to fight for a first-team place.

The rising star scored 13 times for Raith Rovers in the second-half of the season despite the Kirkcaldy side being relegated from the Scottish Championship.

Former Gers player Thompson believes that the Scotland Under-21 star should be given a chance to prove himself in the first-team at Ibrox after being impressed with the striker while he was on loan at Stark’s Park.

“Hardie is not a bad shout, it would be nice to see him get a chance,” Thompson said on BBC Scotland’s Facebook Live broadcast.

“He’s proven himself as a young Scottish player when he’s been out on loan a few times although he didn’t have the best time at St. Mirren.

“However, I do like him and I thought he was brilliant when he was on loan at Raith.”

Hardie faces tough competition for a place in the side at Rangers with Alfredo Morelos, Eduardo Herrera and Kenny Miller all ahead of him in the pecking order.

Hardie also faces competition from fellow Rangers Academy prospect Zak Rudden to win a place in the senior side.

Interim boss Graeme Murty has given Hardie a couple of brief appearances from the substitutes bench after taking the reins following Pedro Caixinha’s sacking last month.

With the Ibrox giants heading to Dens Park to take on Dundee on Friday night, Hardie could find himself given an opportunity against Neil McCann’s side as the Gers look to close the gap on second-place Aberdeen in the Scottish Premiership.

In other Rangers team news, the club has received an apology following some untrue stories that were written about Bruno Alves 

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