Steven Gerrard has been searching for his winning formula all season long, but could he have finally found it in the pairing of Alfredo Morelos and Jermain Defoe? The signing of Defoe, on an 18-month loan deal, started off what was to be a memorable day for Rangers on Sunday, with the Gers picking up a couple of new players.
Defoe was, undeniably, the most high-profile acquisition, and he’s arguably the biggest name to move to Ibrox in a while, and that’s with good reason. His record and experience speaks for itself, and he could be just what the Gers need this season.
Much of the discourse since his arrival has focused upon the battle between Alfredo Morelos and Jermain Defoe, with both forwards likely vying for a starting berth. However, why does this even need to be a battle? They’re teammates after all, and perhaps Gerrard could be viewing them as something other than two forwards vying for one spot. Indeed, perhaps they’re two forwards vying for two spots; as they could offer the perfect partnership for the Gers.
One thing that Rangers have had this season is an overreliance on Morelos. He’s been their main goalscoring threat, and when he’s not on the field, that’s often a bit of a problem for the Gers. Having them both in the team, then, would add another string to Steven Gerrard’s bow, with the pair able to link-up and rely on one another for support.
Attacking partnerships are an archaic facet of modern football, yet when there is a perfect balance of qualities, the perfect dish could be served up on a silver platter.
Their playstyles do match up, after all. Morelos is a forward that is always involved, be that in front of goal or, indeed, a little bit further back. He’s aggressive and energetic, and whilst you’ll rarely catch him in his own half, it’s not unusual for him to be battling with defenders and trying to win the ball.
Defoe, on the other hand, is far more of a passive forward. In many ways, he’s a classic poacher, and he’ll be looking to get onto the end of passes and runs and make the most of his confident and efficient goalscoring ability. It didn’t quite work out for him at Bournemouth, but he was brilliant at Sunderland, and that’s the kind of Defoe that Gerrard will hope that he’s signed.
Together, then, they could be a brilliant match. Attacking partnerships are an archaic facet of modern football, yet when there is a perfect balance of qualities, the perfect dish could be served up on a silver platter.
Beyond all of that, though, the mere prospect of them both being in the same squad is a point worth mentioning. Gerrard may not always be eager to utilise an attacking duo, and that’s okay. However, what’s significant now is that situations that have been commonplace this season can now be avoided. It’s not been unusual for Rangers to be winning a game in the 80th minute, with Alfredo Morelos on a yellow card. That always leads to the concern of a potential sending off, given Morelos’s tendency to be rash.
Now, though, that’s not an issue. Gerrard would, quite simply, be able to rely on his new forward to take over – and that should help the Gers see out more matches than ever before.
As a duo, Defoe and Morelos could offer Steven Gerrard a brand new option going forward, but individually, they could also transform the way that Rangers operate. Could the title be on its way to Ibrox? It’s to soon to say, but the arrival of Defoe could be hugely important in the chase.
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