THE man who gave Umar Sadiq his Serie A debut reckons the Roma striker and Rangers would be a marriage made in heaven.
Steven Gerrard wants to bring the 21-year-old Nigerian to Ibrox on loan to act as the spearhead of his new-look side, and has been given some encouragement from the player himself.
While making the point he was happy at Roma, Sadiq also admitted few players of his age will say no to the new Light Blues boss.
Rudi Garcia, who persuaded the Italian club to pay £2m for Sadiq three years ago, and is now manager of Marseille, sees it as being a potentially very exciting tie-up.
“I had my Roma sports director, Walter Sabatini, to thank for spotting Umar in a game against Spezia,” said Garcia.
“He was only 18, and wasn’t really strong enough then. But he was very tall (6ft 3in), and had a real nose for goal.
“So, although we still had work to do both from a technical and tactical point of view, I felt he was already up to Serie A standard, and gave him his debut against Bologna.
“He repaid my confidence with a couple of goals, and we moved to sign him (for £2m).
“Since then, he has gone out on loan to NAC Breda in Holland and developed as a player, getting stronger all the time.
“Now he is linked with Rangers, and I think it would be a great move for both parties.
“Umar would have much to offer them, but he would also benefit greatly because this is a club with a great tradition and a truly exceptional support.
“I took Marseille to Ibrox for a match last season, and I was very impressed by them.
“It was if they felt they were attending a Champions League tie, not a friendly game.
“Scottish football is certainly very physical, so Sadiq would need to learn how to deal with that aspect of the game.
“But I wouldn’t see that being a problem as he is a good learner, who always listens very carefully to what his coaches tell him.
“All in all, I think it would be a great opportunity for him.
“Rangers are one of the top clubs in the UK, and they are in the Europa League this season, which is a platform for all players.
“If Umar goes to Scotland and does well, he will have the potential to grow into an international player.
“I would love to see that. I’d also love to see Steven Gerrard do well.
“He was a fantastic player and I wish him every success as a manager.”