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Rangers manager Steven Gerrard wasn’t pleased with Umar Sadiq after Sunday’s League Cup semi-final defeat to Aberdeen, singling out the striker for criticism following a dive that cost him the chance of scoring into an empty net.
The 21-year-old started in attack due to Kyle Lafferty and Alfredo Morelos being unavailable but didn’t do himself any favours by spurning a big opportunity after rounding goalkeeper Joe Lewis. Rather than put the ball into the goal, he dived and tried to win a penalty – the referee was unmoved, however.
After placing so much faith in Sadiq in the League Cup semi-final, Gerrard wasn’t happy with his actions on Sunday. As per The Sun, he said: “What I would say to him is if you go around the keeper, stand up and put the ball in the net. Don’t dive or you are going to get a yellow card.”
“We’re Rangers, we are a big team and we should play with a centre forward. To be fair to Umar, in the last two or three weeks he had shown signs of improvement. Whether it’s enough, we’ll have to judge that moving forward. His performance up until the final bit today was okay. We can’t point fingers and blame Umar.”
The Nigerian international, who joined Rangers on loan from AS Roma, has struggled for playing time this season. Sadiq has made only five appearances in all competitions and has had a run-in with Gerrard previously over his attitude and application.
He’s spent the majority of the season as an unused substitute or being left out of the matchday squad entirely. There have been rumours that Sadiq could return to his parent club earlier than planned as a result of his toils in Scotland, but there are so far unsubstantiated. Sadiq isn’t doing himself any favours, however.
Stats from Transfermarkt.