Rangers flop Umar Sadiq gunning for Man United as Partizan Belgrade eye Europa League upset

Umar Sadiq in action against AZ Alkmaar in Europa League Group L. The Rangers flop faces Man United this evening
Umar Sadiq in action against AZ Alkmaar in Europa League Group L. The Rangers flop faces Man United this evening
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Much-maligned striker aiming to shoot down Man United just 12 months on from Hampden horror show

He arrived with relative fanfare - a young, hungry striker on loan from a big Serie A club, aiming to star in light blue and kickstart his career.

But things didn't go to plan for Umar Sadiq after he secured a loan move from Roma to Rangers during Steven Gerrard's first season at the helm.

A two-minute cameo in a 3-1 home win against NK Maribor was followed up with 12 minutes against St Mirren. A Betfred Cup trip to Kilmarnock afford him another 11-minute run-out.

Then, nothing. The Nigerian forward vanished from matchday squads, only making the bench once in 14 league games.

Gerrard was forced to start the striker in a Betfred Cup semi-final against bitter rivals Aberdeen, with Alfredo Morelos suspended and Kyle Lafferty cup-tied, but he failed to take his chance and his only real contribution to the game was his decision to dive in the box despite being one-on-one with Dons 'keeper Joe Lewis, when it looked easier to score.

A crazy decision at the best of times, but especially so given Lewis Ferguson had fired Aberdeen into the lead four minutes previously, and there was barely five minutes left in the match.

Fast forward 12 months, and the Ibrox flop is starring for Partizan Belgrade. The tall, often ungainly-looking striker has hit eight goals in 17 appearances for the Serbian outfit, and has laid on three more for his team-mates.

He scored twice as Partizan recorded an impressive victory away to Astana in the second round of fixtures in Europa League Group L, and set up one in the 2-2 draw with AZ Alkmaar during the opening match.

At the end of last month, Sadiq scored twice and assisted a third as Partizan put four past Radnicki Nis in the league, while he registered a goal and an assist in a 3-0 win away to Proleter.

Tonight, Sadiq comes up against a Manchester United team whose struggles under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer have been well-documented. The Norwegian boss has already singled Sadiq out for praise in his pre-match duties, suggesting that the Old Trafford scouting team are only too aware of the towering forward's ability.

It would be quite the turnaround, from flopping at Hampden to scoring against the Red Devils inside 12 months.