MICHAEL BEALE believes Rangers star Ianis Hagi is 'right up there' amongst the best young players that he has worked with during his coaching career.

The Romanian scored his first goal for his country during the win over North Macedonia last week as he looks to follow in the footsteps of father Gheorghe and clinch a World Cup berth.

Now Hagi will look to help his side get back to winning ways when they face Armenia on Wednesday evening as they bid to recover from a narrow defeat to Germany.

Hagi has enjoyed an excellent campaign at Ibrox as Rangers have clinched the Premiership title and reached the last 16 of the Europa League for the second consecutive season.

And Beale has backed the playmaker to continue going from strength to strength for club and country as he prepares for the Armenia clash before Rangers face Cove in the Scottish Cup this weekend.

Beale told RangersTV: "I have managed to watch a little bit to be fair. I watched Ianis and it was fantastic for him to score his first international goal.

"Ianis turned 22 back in the end of October and he has had a fantastic year domestically and obviously now with the national team as well.

“I see him blossoming every day. I am in a unique position that I have worked with a lot of top young players and I would put Ianis right up there.

“He is two footed, he works hard, he is a lovely young man. So for me to see his growth this year has been fantastic.

“And to score for his national team – bearing in mind who his dad is and the career that his dad had – is a special moment for the family. I had a little text with Ianis.”