Former Rangers midfielder Alex Rae has revealed Gers’ recent acquisition Ianis Hagi reminds him of his former team-mate Thomas Buffel, having the same eye for a pass as the Belgian.

Hagi joined Rangers on a six-month loan deal in January from Belgian side Genk, with the Gers exercising their option to sign the Romanian on a permanent deal recently.  


The youngster, like Rae’s former team-mate Buffel, prefers to play in the number 10 position, with Rangers boss Steven Gerrard also slotting the Romanian in on the right flank on occasion.

Rae has admitted Hagi reminds him of his previous team-mate Buffel, as he stressed the Belgian had an eye for a killer pass and the brain to last at the highest level even after losing his pace.

The ex-Rangers player believes the manager needs to build the team around Hagi, with pace to provide the 21-year old with options, which he feels will give him the opportunity to unlock defences.

“In terms of the physical he might have to bulk up a little bit”, Rae said on the Lee Rigby Memorial Cup Facebook page.

Who he reminds me of from my time at Rangers is Thomas Buffel.

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“Wee Buffel was not the strongest, but he was brilliant at picking a pass.

“I worked with Thomas later on in his career when I was at Genk with Alex McLeish and he had lost that pace, but he still had that brain that allowed him to navigate about the pitch.

“And he was a brilliant wee player for Rangers, so I see a lot of similarities with him and I see Hagi in that mould.

“We're going to have to get some powerhouses around him, real pace middle to front, and try and open up defences; and Hagi comes into that reckoning.”

Hagi has made 12 appearances for Rangers since making the move to Ibrox, scoring three goals and racking up two assists.