Rangers boss Steven Gerrard has spoken in greater detail about Alfredo Morelos’ absence from the Gers squad for the 1-0 Scottish Cup defeat to Hearts.
The 29-goal striker has found himself out of form in 2020 and was left out of the game with Hearts as a disciplinary probe continues into his late arrival back in the UK.
Steven Gerrard has revealed that Morelos was given leave to visit his ill mother in Colombia, despite being unavailable for the Europa League trip to Braga through suspension.
“Alfredo came to me 10 days or so ago. He said his mum wasn’t feeling right so he asked for permission to go back to Colombia which I granted him at the right time,” said Gerrard [Daily Record].
“He left on Sunday after the game because he was suspended (for Braga). I looked at him in the eye and said: ‘You need to be back on Wednesday’.
“And he said, ‘Okay, I really appreciate that’. He returned 24 hours late and he missed one of the key preparation days into this game.
“I decided to go with people who had done the full preparation and were desperate to be available for today.
“You’ll have to ask his team-mates, only they can answer (if they feel let down by him). This is a kid who I’ve loved and still do love.
“He’s a top player, he has scored great volume of goals for us. But I think we all know that from time to time what he does and what he’s about.
“I couldn’t forget players who have worked ever so hard and are desperate for an opportunity over people that have got discipline letdown. I can’t do it. I wouldn’t be true to myself.
“There’s no doubt that he would’ve helped us today. Would I have picked him if he was back on Wednesday? 100 per cent.”
Morelos’ absence from the team had a considerable knock-on effect, with a stuttering Rangers side crashing out of the Scottish Cup to leave their season on the brink.
The Colombian striker risked the ire of the Rangers fans and now the striker’s future remains up in the air.
The pressure will now be on for Alfredo Morelos to prove his worth to Rangers in the coming months and that he wants to be at the club.
With reported transfer interest attached to the striker throughout his Rangers career, if Morelos can’t clean up his act it makes you wonder if he’ll still be at Ibrox next season