As Rangers stumbled to a 2-1 defeat against Malmo FF in Sweden, the Ibrox fans couldn’t help but feel that there was something missing in the shape of Alfredo Morelos.
As the Gers prepared for this all-important Champions League qualifier, El Bufalo was preparing for his return in a hotel car park.
Alfredo Morelos keeping himself fit during his quarantine by running around the hotel car park 🤣🐃pic.twitter.com/OioeqnaCdE
— WATP 🇬🇧🏆 (@WATP_com) August 3, 2021
Colombia’s somewhat unexpected 3rd place finish in the Copa America and Morelos’ subsequent break means the Gers are still awaiting the return to their talisman to training.
That’s despite several voices in the media taking aim at Morelos and criticising him for his late arrival back in the country.
Instead, Rangers relied on Cedric Itten up front and whilst the big Swiss forward tried hard, it very much felt like Rangers couldn’t get enough players close to the big man.
Morelos is a different type of striker, and his physical style is supplemented with his ability as a complete forward, the Colombian regularly pulling defenders out of position and coming deep to spark attacks.
In these areas between the defence and midfield Morelos becomes a real handful and the fact that he is a strong passer of the ball backs up his influence in this part of the pitch.
It’s also not rare to find Morelos popping up on either wing and that versatility and flexibility drags opposition defenders out of position and Rangers into them.
The Ibrox side are undoubtedly a better team with Morelos in it and as Steven Gerrard works out how to make the most of Itten’s attributes, and Fashion Sakala settles in, Rangers fans are hoping Morelos can return v Malmo next week.
There are also plenty of fans expressing frustration that the striker wasn’t available for the match, even if that’s no fault of Morelos’:
For anyone who’s even thought or suggested about selling Morelos this window please come outside so i can leather you. Bring yer pals.
— C. (@Cxrly__) August 3, 2021
We were poor, but with Aribo and Morelos returning, Hagi back fit and Ibrox waiting, that is game on!
— Pena_Cartel (@Pena_Cartel) August 3, 2021
For all the talent and depth across our front 3 and all the different options they provide, no one can do what Morelos does. Huge miss tonight.
We’ll do that mob next week though. Mon the famous. 🇬🇧
— Pedro (@PeterM4) August 3, 2021
Morelos back for the second leg pic.twitter.com/3vqZ72XDUE
— Curtis (@1872Curt) August 3, 2021
Morelos, Hagi and hopefully Aribo back next week.
We are favourites.
— Chris Bett (@chr1sbett) August 3, 2021
Know what we’re missing? Morelos, Morelos spanks these pudding aboot.
— Barry Binnie (@BigBazzaB) August 3, 2021
Would be good if Morelos can play next week
— Alan Carmichael (@AlanC_44) August 3, 2021
I just want a bag a cans and Morelos back
— 🇬🇧🥊 (@iplayfirrangers) August 4, 2021
Thank fuck for that, btw. Some players absolutely miles off it tonight. Still in the tie after being pretty poor all game. Morelos back for the next game, you'd hope.
— Iainvincibles (@CemetryGates89) August 3, 2021
Morelos half hour under his belt saturday n straight in tuesday for me! .. miles off it without him in europe! They urny great at all , fancy us at Ibrox!! Game on , mon the Rangers🇬🇧
— Jono (@JonoButchart) August 3, 2021
Rangers still have a chance in Sweden but they’ll need to improve ahead of the clash with the Scandinavians even if there will be players returning.
Rangers manager Steven Gerrard didn’t miss as he claimed “six or seven” players must raise their levels ahead of the return leg.