Rangers supporters have been in high spirits in the Transfer Tavern in the last few days after seeing their team move to within six points of Scottish Premiership leaders Celtic following a 4-1 thrashing of St Johnstone on Tuesday night.
Graeme Murty’s men went into their encounter with the Perth-based outfit off the back of comfortably beating Hearts 2-0 on Saturday in their previous league encounter, a result which moved them above Aberdeen into second place in the table as Derek McInnes’ side lost to Celtic the day after. And the Gers reduced their arrears to Brendan Rodgers’ side once again on Tuesday as goals from James Tavernier, Josh Windass, Sean Goss, and Alfredo Morelos secured a routine victory at McDiarmid Park, thus setting the Light Blues up perfectly for their Scottish Cup tie with Falkirk on Sunday.
Thus, there have been many delighted Rangers fans in the Tavern in recent times, several of whom are daring to dream that their side could indeed catch their Old Firm rivals, and thus potentially challenge them for the title come the end of the season.
In the meantime though, there has been much for our resident Light Blues supporters to get their teeth into, not least recent reports suggesting that their club’s hierarchy rejected a reported £9.5 million bid for Morelos earlier this week.
And their big decision to refuse to sanction the 21-year-old’s departure, both earlier this week and during the last few months, is up there as one of the best decisions the club has made in many a year.
Ultimately, the Colombian star has been a revelation since making the move to Ibrox during the summer, netting 17 goals and laying on five assists in 36 appearances for the Gers, 13 goals of which coming in their ascent to second place in the league.
Those figures alone highlight just how integral Morelos is to Murty’s side and the huge role he plays in the attacking third of the pitch, while he also appears to be striking up quite the relationship with fellow forwards Windass, Jamie Murphy, and Jason Cummings to underline their status as one of the most exciting attacks in the divisions.
So while keeping Morelos was not only key to their on-the-field hopes, both for the rest of this season and in the years to come, it’s also a huge statement of intent off the pitch given the financial concerns surrounding the club in recent times.
Remember, this is a club that secured four loan signings during the January transfer window and spent very little bringing Declan John and Greg Docherty to Ibrox on permanent deals such were the rumoured financial constraints – some bookies even suspended betting Rangers going down this term given some murmurings of administration.
Yet rejecting big money offers for Morelos, ranging from £8 million to a reported £9.5 million, is a huge statement of intent to the rest of the league that Rangers are making their way back to the top of Scottish football, as keeping their best players is the only way they can consistently challenge Celtic for major honours.
The six-point gap between the two at this stage of the season is certainly retrievable – that gap could be three were the Gers to beat Rodgers’ side in the Old Firm derby next week, and then the race is definitely on.
And there’s little doubt that retaining Morelos, comfortably one of their best and most influential players, will bolster their chances of catching the Bhoys, both this season and in the years to come.
Thus, while the money would have been good, making the big decision to keep the 21-year-old is easily one of the best they have made in many years.
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