Steven Gerrard appears to have hinted that Alfredo Morelos could be left out of his Rangers XI for the clash against Hamilton on Sunday, as quoted by the Glasgow Evening Times.
The 23-year-old striker has just enjoyed a successful stint with the Colombian national team, scoring his first goal for his country in an injury-time win over Peru on Saturday.
He then played 45 minutes in a victory over Ecuador on Wednesday and by Friday afternoon, still hadn’t made it back to the Hummel Training Centre.
“He will be desperate to play, there is no doubt about that,” said Gerrard, as quoted by the Glasgow Evening Times. “If he went straight to Hamilton from the airport he’d be desperate to play, that’s the kind of character he is. It wouldn’t surprise me if Alfredo is kicking a ball around the aeroplane right now.”
“My job is to decide whether he should play, it’s about finding that balance. I’ll pick a team that I think is capable of going to Hamilton and winning.
“You are always trying to stay ahead of the game because we have so many important matches coming up. I am looking at the bigger picture while all the players need to do is focus on Hamilton.”
It seems increasingly unlikely that El Bufalo will lead the line for the Gers on Sunday.
Gerrard doesn’t explicitly say so here, but in nodding to his side’s packed upcoming schedule, he’s making it clear that rotation will be necessary.
A season-defining few weeks are ahead and although there’s no guarantee of three points from a trip to Accies, they are the lowest calibre opposition Rangers will face for some time.
Given that Jermain Defoe will be fresh and raring to go following two weeks off, it makes sense to give him a start this weekend, with Alfredo available off the bench if required.
That way, the Gers’ most potent attacker would be well-rested ahead of Thursday’s Europa League clash against Feyenoord.