Rangers have enjoyed a mixed season under Steven Gerrard, who is about to finish his first campaign in charge of a professional club. The Govan side have been unable to win- yet again- any trophies, but there does seem to be a positive vibe around the Ibrox outfit, as they took huge strides in European football as well as wrestling 2nd place from Aberdeen in the Scottish Premiership.
Alfredo Morelos, nicknamed “El Búfalo” by Rangers fans, has been one of the core pillars of both Gerrard’s Rangers team and the club as a whole ever since the Colombian joined from Norwegian side HJK in the summer of 2017. With rumours swirling over the striker’s head concerning an imminent departure from the Gers, should his parent club let him go?
— Superscoreboard (@ClydeSSB) June 19, 2017
In short: yes. Rangers aren’t in the best place right now, economically speaking. The club is up to £22.5m in debt, as well as reporting a profit loss of £14.3m- according to a post from Swiss Ramble. This is where Morelos comes in: the youngster is by far the Gers’ prize asset, and his age, potential and stunning numbers have already shaped him into the club’s next big-money sale, which would ease the their financial woes.
That would be the case if you look at it from a footballing point of view. Morelos scored an impressive 18 goals in his debut season with Rangers, 14 of which were scored in the Premiership. However, this season has gone even better for the Colombian, as he has taken his goal count all the way up to 29, although he hasn’t seen the back of the net since mid-March in his side’s 1-1 draw with Kilmarnock.
This is where Morelos has failed so far as a professional looking to take the next step in his career. His discipline on the pitch, especially this season, has been nothing short of shocking. The youngster has been sent off 5 times in the last 8 months, missing a huge 10 games in the process, essentially becoming a liability.
Granted he’s still only 22 years of age, but this is his 5th full season as a professional, and his behaviour is more characteristic of a teenage player rather than a man reaching his mid-20s. Moreover, his discipline hasn’t been well-managed by Gerrard and the rest of the coaching staff, as he first saw red in the opening game of the league campaign against Aberdeen, with his most recent sending-off coming in the previous Old Firm derby against Celtic at the end of March- something that’s priced at 10/1 for Sunday’s clash.
The common denominator of all these red cards seems to be that the majority of opposing players can easily get under the Colombian’s skin. Morelos’ has spoken about being a “hot” player on the pitch and that he’d never change how he is as a player, but that is something that could potentially hold him back in the not so distant future.
What is the key to El Búfalo’s future success? Anger management on the pitch, because a club isn’t going to pay top dollar for a prolific striker who has a knack of getting himself sent-off. The Gers player also needs to mature on the pitch too, as he is also prone to missing a lot of the chances he takes, with only 55% of his shots going on goal this season, which is far inferior to Celtic’s Odsonne Édouard’s 63%.
Morelos also has a huge needle in his spine with an even bigger point to prove: to score against Celtic, something he hasn’t managed to do in all of the times he has faced the Hoops since arriving almost two years ago, and with the Colombian likely leading the front line at Ibrox on Sunday, the 10/1 odds look like a good price for him to finally grab a goal against the reigning champions, and you can read our preview for the game here.