Steven Gerrard – Hagi in ‘perfect condition’ for eager Rangers squad

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Ianis Hagi

Steven Gerrard has praised Ianis Hagi’s willingness to listen to advice on fitness and diet

Steven Gerrard considers midfielder Ianis Hagi to be in “perfect condition” as the Rangers manager declared his Ibrox squad “itching to get going” with the new season.

The Romanian international had been at Ibrox on loan since January but has now made a permanent switch from Genk.

“He is a fantastic human being who wants to learn,” said Gerrard.

“He has come back in incredible shape. His body fat and his weight – he is in perfect condition right now.”

While it is 21-year-old Hagi, who scored three goals in 12 games for Rangers last season, who has made most of the headlines around Gerrard’s summer transfer activity, the manager is also enthused by the acquisition of the versatile defender Calvin Bassey from Leicester City and the return of Filip Helander from injury.

Gerrard said of Bassey on Rangers TV: “I think he is going to surprise a few.

“There’s not many people know the name like a Hagi, for example, but we have tracked him for some time and I think he is going to surprise a lot of people as he is a fantastic talent.

“He is big, he is strong, he is quick and he is aggressive. He is excellent in one-v-one situations and he can play in two or three different positions.”

Swedish centre-half Helander’s presence in the Rangers rearguard was “sorely missed”, according to his manager, with him describing his return to the squad as being “like a new signing”.

“I think we missed his experience and his leadership,” added Gerrard.

“Defensively, in terms of goals conceded over the course of the season, we performed really well, but it is still an area that we want to improve and we want to avoid individual mistakes and sloppy goals.”

Gerrard, entering his third season at Ibrox, told fans that the club hoped to announce dates soon for pre-season friendlies.

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