Former Glasgow Rangers full-back Alan Hutton fears that the Light Blues’ star striker Alfredo Morelos could end up leaving Ibrox amid speculation over his future.
The Lowdown: Morelos’ contract
Having signed his most recent contract extension in 2019, the Colombian has entered the final nine months of his deal at Ibrox, and little progress has been made with the striker in terms of his stay in Glasgow being lengthened.
These circumstances have been exacerbated by Morelos’ lack of game-time this season. So far in the Premiership, the 26-year-old has failed to feature in Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s starting XI, having made four appearances off the bench as a substitute.
The Latest: Hutton’s worry
Hutton fears that Rangers could lose Morelos on a free transfer at the end of the season, so he has conceded that the club may have to sell the striker in January to recoup some of his value.
Speaking to Football Insider, the former Light Blues defender claimed: “No team wants to lose a top asset for nothing. I believe Rangers are a better team when Alfredo Morelos is in it and firing, playing with full confidence.
“I think we saw flashes of that in the Napoli game. Colak has come in and been outstanding, but I think you need that competition up front.
“I would like to see him sign a new contract and stay. I know his head has maybe been turned over the last season and a bit. The speculation around moving to different clubs, I don’t think that’s helped him.
“Obviously after an injury last season, missing a lot of football, Europa League final, he maybe thought as soon as he was fit he was going to start and that didn’t work out. We know everything that happened but he’s shown another side , that he’s willing to work hard to get back in to the team.
“It’s up to him, the ball’s in his court. If he wants to fight for a new contract or go to another club, you have to be playing at a certain standard and he’s going to have to reach that to get either one.“
The Verdict: Potential big blow
Despite his lack of minutes on the pitch this season, Morelos’ departure from Ibrox would come as a big blow for Rangers, for whom he has netted a staggering 113 goals.
As per FBRef, compared with positional peers across Europe’s major over the past year, the Colombian attacker ranks in the 94th percentile for dribbles completed, the 93rd percentile for non-penalty expected goals and the 92nd percentile for shots total.
Should Rangers cash in on Morelos now?
Having earned stylistic comparisons to the likes of AS Roma’s Tammy Abraham and West Ham United’s Gianluca Scamacca (via FBRef), it is easy to see why Morelos was once hailed as ‘outstanding’ by former Gers boss Steven Gerrard after becoming the club’s all-time record European goalscorer.
Therefore, if the 26-year-old decides to run down his Rangers contract and leave on a free transfer, it would be a massive loss to the Scottish club, not least given that they could have cashed in on him for £20m in previous transfer windows.
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