After the 3-1 win at Rugby Park, you have to imagine Rangers striker Umar Sadiq won’t be pleased with Sunday and how it went.
You could forgive him too.
The big striker arrived on-loan from Roma keen to make an impression this summer. However, he’s correctly had to play second-fiddle to Alfredo Morelos.
As if that hasn’t been tough enough, he must’ve felt close to an opportunity in recent weeks. With Gerrard calling for fresh legs, it seemed a good possibility that the Nigerian forward was set for a start at Rugby Park. Morelos’ blank in Maribor the previous Thursday would also have given him reason to believe.
However, instead he found himself sitting on the bench once again. Gerrard’s decision was clearly the correct one, as Morelos went on to fire home a hat-trick and seal Rangers’ progression to the quarter-finals of the Betfred Cup.
The Colombian had been going through a rough spell at the beginning of Gerrard’s tenure. Some big misses against Shkupi had supporters on the 22-year-old’s back. Combine that with the fact he finished last season poorly, speculation was on that he could be dropped from the first team.
Yet, Morelos showed he was made of sterner stuff. The forward is already Rangers’ top goalscorer this season, and has started every competitive match under Gerrard so far.
With his first hat-trick now in the bag at Ibrox, questions now turn to how this will affect Sadiq.
The third striker
Rangers continue to court another striker, and if it’s Kyle Lafferty, you have to imagine he’ll be near the first-team. The Northern Irishman has a keen supporter in Gerrard, and his signing would see him perhaps help or play alongside Morelos.
Meanwhile, Sadiq continues to bench-warm and wait on his chance in the squad. The Rangers fans will be keen to see what the forward can do. The Nigerian is a tall, commanding striker who seems to be one for holding the ball up.
This could mean that he may not necessarily need to wait until Morelos has a dip. After all, there are Premiership matches where Gerrard can afford to go two up top. The fear factor seems to be returning to Rangers. Clubs are likely to start sitting back the more successful this new side are.
This is potentially one area where we could see 21-year-old Sadiq get his chance.
However, it’s all just speculation as Gerrard is highly unlikely to change his style or drop Morelos. For now, it appears as though Sadiq will have to wait patiently on the sidelines.
It’s not ideal, but there’s no doubt Sadiq won’t be pleased with Sunday.