Former Scotland international Kenny Dalglish has hailed the “outstanding contribution” that Alfredo Morelos has made to Rangers this season and called on his Ibrox team-mates to do more to help him out.
The Colombian netted his 29th goal of the campaign in the Light Blues’ Scottish Cup win at Hamilton on Saturday but that was his first strike of 2020 and ended a scoring drought that stretched back to Boxing Day. He had come under fire from some quarters following the recent 0-0 draw at Aberdeen, in which he missed a gilt-edged chance to score on his first start after a three-game January suspension, with Rangers News writer Cameron Willis describing his performance as “rusty” and adding that he “looked laboured at times”.
In his column for the Sunday Post, Dalglish sprang to the defence of the 23-year-old, claiming that all strikers endure troughs in front of goal and preferring to highlight his record over the season as a whole. He said: “In the past seven months, he has made an outstanding contribution to Rangers. He has scored some brilliant, and vitally important, goals.
“Sure, he has missed a few sitters, and he got a wee bit of verbal abuse for missing a chance against Aberdeen last weekend. But show me a striker in the land that hasn’t missed a glaring opportunity at some stage of his career. Plenty have in the past, and plenty more will do so in the future. It’s part and parcel of being a No.9.”
Dalglish also urged Morelos’ Rangers team-mates to contribute more and reduce the scoring burden on him, writing: “It would be totally unfair to put everything on Alfredo’s shoulders. He needs help, and both the Colombian and Rangers could have done without Jermain Defoe being sidelined by injury right now.” [via Sunday Post]
Dalglish’s defence of Morelos is quite justified given the ratio of the Colombian’s goals to that of his fellow Rangers players. The 23-year-old is only one goal away from reaching 30 for the season, with nearly twice as many as their next most prolific player Defoe on 17. As Dalglish pointed out, the veteran Englishman is ruled out for the foreseeable future after pulling up injured in the recent win over Ross County.
After Defoe, the Light Blues’ next top scorers Scott Arfield and Joe Aribo have only seven goals each, with their combined tally less than half of what Morelos has plundered on his own. Indeed, the Colombian has only one fewer goal than Arfield, Aribo, Ryan Kent, Sheyi Ojo and Ryan Jack combined, while everyone else in Steven Gerrard’s squad (aside from those mentioned already) has four goals or fewer in the current campaign. [via TransferMarkt]
Is Alfredo Morelos worth £20m?
In the 23-year-old’s absence, Rangers were beaten by the Premiership’s bottom club Hearts despite taking the lead on an afternoon when they had just two shots on target out of 11. Had Morelos been available that day, his record over the course of the season suggests that he may well have seized upon some of the chances that his team-mates spurned at Tynecastle.
Therefore, Dalglish is right to talk up the importance of Morelos to this ‘Gers team and he also makes a fair point in saying that he could do with some of his team-mates finding the net more frequently, especially with Defoe sidelined.
Rangers fans, what did you make of Dalglish’s verdict on Morelos? Comment below with your views!
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