In our Transfers that shook the club feature, Football Transfer Tavern takes a look at deals that many may not have seen coming and the impact that they had during their time by using statistical data and pundit remarks.
It was under his watch that the ‘Gers exited the first qualifying round of the Europa League at the hands of Luxembourg’s Progres Niederkorn in 2017 (as per BBC).
Only a few weeks previously, he oversaw a 1-5 thrashing by Celtic at Ibrox, their biggest ever home defeat in the Glasgow derby. [via BBC]
However, Caixinha left a lasting legacy behind him at Rangers in the form of the £1m purchase of Colombian striker Alfredo Morelos in June 2017 (as per Daily Record).
He had shown signs of his goal-scoring potential with 40 in the calendar year of 2016 for HJK Helsinki, although Finland’s ranking of 38th on UEFA’s association club coefficient at the time of his arrival may have dampened expectations.
He was only the fifth-most expensive purchase made by the club that summer, costing less than half of the £2.7m spent on Carlos Pena. [via TransferMarkt]
However, it was during the 2018/19 that Morelos became an explosive presence at Rangers – in more ways than one.
As prolific a striker as he was clearly turning out to be, though, he was shockingly undisciplined last season, being sent off no fewer than five times.
After the fifth of those, which he picked up for elbowing Scott Brown in the face against Celtic in March, manager Steven Gerrard fumed: “I’ve gone above and beyond – I’ve backed Alfredo more than enough and I can’t defend him any more.” [via BBC]
Morelos has again been making a huge impact for Rangers throughout the current campaign, except this time it’s for entirely the right reasons.
He has hit two or more goals in six matches in 2019/20, including a brace in the recent Europa League trip to Feyenoord, from which Rangers earned a 2-2 draw that leaves them needing just a point at home to Young Boys next week to reach the knockout stages (as per BBC).
Michael Owen sang the 23-year-old’s praises when speaking on The Early Kick-Off (via Daily Record) last month, saying: “He’s that type, isn’t he? He’s the modern centre forward, a strong lad that can almost do every job. He can score goals, hold the ball up and run the channels. He’s going to tempt a lot of people.”
If he can manage that, his stock among the ‘Gers faithful will surely rise even further, with Caixinha perhaps emitting a wry smile over the exceptionally smart decision to sign the Colombian for £1m two and a half years ago.
Rangers fans, did you have high hopes for Morelos when he first came to the club? Have you been surprised by his impact at Ibrox? Give us your thoughts in the comments section below!
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