Alfredo Morelos transfer speculation has been rife since the young Colombian signed for Rangers a year ago.
From Turkey, to China, to most recently the south of France, the ferocious young striker has dealt with off the pitch rumour and criticism of his petulance almost continuously. If he is performing like this with all that in the background, imagine what he’d be like with a quiet life off the pitch?
That’s exactly what Steven Gerrard will be hoping for after he announced plans to get the 22-year-old tied up on improved terms at Ibrox calling him “arguably our best player” and saying he needed to be rewarded.
The Bordeaux bid came in almost 24 hours before Rangers massive game with Maribor. An unnecessary distraction from Morelos, especially when Rangers felt the numbers quoted were “derisory”.
A frustrating night for hardworking Morelos
On the pitch, Morelos worked hard, held up play, and almost fashioned himself a few chances. He also missed from point blank range – granted he was offside. He also cut a frustrated figure at times.
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In standard Morelos style, he petulantly bit back to gripes and over-aggressive targeting from Maribor’s defender more than a few times. There wasn’t quite as much smiling on the field as there has been in recent matches. It felt like the bid had an impact.
It was a match in which you saw almost everything of Morelos, just not a goal.
Put focus back on football
Not that his head has been turned, but it’s a lot of pressure for a young man to bear. Especially when you consider the at times vulturistic attitude of many fans and pundits towards him in Scotland. It feels like they’re urging him to fail. That said, the fans love him.
By signing Morelos up on a long-to-medium term deal, on fair terms, it silences a lot of the speculation. It’s more than just a contractual commitment, it’s a symbolic one.
It’s also one that both parties need to end the speculation, and put the focus squarely back in Alfredo Morelos’ football.