To an average football fan, Alfredo Morelos is that manic striker with poor discipline. His reputation has been spoilt by constant controversies, red-cards and incidents that define his fire and venom. While that part of the player certainly does exist, but only Rangers fans have come to realise his true value in recent years.
Morelos’ style, passion and ability is everything you would associate in a South American striker. He hates losing and loves winning. Amidst that, a dirty side of him often emerges. It doesn’t please many fans, but it has made Morelos what he is today.
His fighting instincts would strike a chord with any fan, unless he plays for another club. He came to Ibrox Park in the summer of 2017 from HJK Helsinki on an undisclosed fee. He was hardly a superstar, but his goalscoring ability is slowly making noises in the South of the Isles. And he very much deserves that attention.
So far this season, Morelos has found the back of the net 28 times in all competitions for the Gers. He has nine assists to his name, while playing 35 games in total. While he is yet to ever score in an Old Firm derby, he has scored 12 times in the Scottish Premiership already.
While this isn’t a surprising number for a single season, Morelos is doing that every season on a consistent basis.
Last season, he played 48 games in all competitions for Rangers and found the net 30 times, while picking up 11 assists on the way. In his first season, Morelos scored 18 times and got eight assists. Since then, it has been a case of constant improvement on his numbers.
Steven Gerrard recently heaped praise on Morelos. The Liverpool hero said (via Daily Mail):
“We’ll never run out of things to say if he keeps providing performances and moments like that. Players who keep producing moments like that deserve praise. I will never get bored of talking about him. He is a top player and I can’t describe how much I enjoy working with him. He’s a massive, massive asset to this club.”
His numbers are good enough for a Premier League move. Clubs like Aston Villa and Crystal Palace have drawn links with him, as the Gers look to seal their first Premiership title since promotion. Their recent 2-1 win over Celtic gave them a huge boost, as Steven Gerrard’s men have to win their game in hand to go top.
That would be a cherry on the cake for Morelos. He would get a fitting reward for what he’s done for the club over the years and few would deserve it more than him. But with clubs circling around him, it won’t be a bad idea to seek a move. A rather deserved one too.
Palace under Roy Hodgson lack a proper centre-forward. Christian Benteke is past his peak, while Jordan Ayew isn’t exactly a proper striker. As a result, the Eagles have scored 19 goals this season– the second-lowest in the Premier League. They could stay up last season because of Michy Batshuayi’s goals in the second half of the campaign.
As for Villa, Wesley recently suffered a season-ending knee injury. This has left the club’s Premier League status hanging by a thread, with John McGinn also out. Wesley’s return date is unknown and while Morelos won’t be available in January, next season could be a chance. Strikers don’t always come back fit and firing after big injuries- Benteke himself is an example.
Now Wesley is out, Morelos will be a very viable option. He’s a very reliable goalscorer, having done a job in different countries. It certainly will take time for Morelos to gel in, but his quality will shine through. More than anything, the Premier League’s undying love for pantomime villains in unmatched. They will love to hate Morelos. And the Colombian will give Villa fans more than enough to cheer about.