Alfredo Morelos was on the verge of the Colombian national side for the Copa America this summer. Interest from various clubs in Germany, Italy and England was all real with various scouts regularly watching. He was having a blistering season but it was blighted by flashes of ill temper.
What happened at Celtic Park was high profile, he fell right into the trap and it cost him 4 games as Rangers finished the season. It cost him his momentum, it cost him the Copa America, it cost him his big move and it gave everyone including the Scottish media exactly what they wanted and craved.
The chance to rubbish and criticise him wasn’t missed
Alfredo is a young man from the streets of Colombia, he is rugged, he is grumpy looking at times. Five red cards last season had many questioning whether he could turn it around and if Rangers would benefit from a Morelos who could turn his apparent ‘attitude’ around.
This countries media revel in reporting the negative and they couldn’t wait to kick him when he was down. He can’t change, he won’t change, Rangers should sell him etc etc. Some people called him a lunatic or said he needed counselling, it was a shambles.
You only have to look at the reporting this year to see it, or lack of appreciation for him
Alfredo has come back and he looks a different player. Not different in a sense that he’s playing a different way, different in a sense he looks focused and ready.
He has destroyed the narrative set and he looks even better for it. No question has his game lost an edge or sharpness.
His performances this season have been sensational and at times in games he is giving Rangers the complete striking performance.
In Denmark, against Midtylland, he was sensational and he had everything including the goal. Against Feyenoord he had everything but this time not the goal. Physically bullying teams and turning defenders who get tight to him.
These are some of his outstanding performances but against Aberdeen yesterday he showed a different side with his movement in terms of dropping deep, linking up and his intelligence with Greg Stewart brought fantastic rewards for Rangers. Our third goal showed tremendous movement and lovely headed finish but his work for our penalty should not be overlooked either.
What shouldn’t go unnoticed is the hard work he is putting in for the team also, headers away during defending and working to win the ball back. Yesterday he was spraying around passes on the half way line.
It was a complete performance
What he has faced in Scotland is the same treatment as last season and you only have to look at the closing stages of the Livingston cup game midweek to see he was singled out with crude lunges. Yesterday against Aberdeen they tried it, Joe Lewis having a kick out off the ball as Rangers won a corner. He was also on the end of a disgraceful ‘tackle’ from McGinn in the Thirtieth minute.
He’s still targeted, he’s still nibbled at
What the press won’t report or give credit for is what Alfredo is doing now when this happens
The answer is nothing
He gets up, gets focused and goes again. He’s cuter now too, he’s going down when touched and he’s not becoming confrontational. That side of him is completely different.
He is yet to be cautioned domestically, despite the fact he faces severe confrontation and provocation from teams, he has shown tremendous maturity to recover from last seasons set backs.
He’s still just a young boy
Alfredo Morelos in the mood and focused, as he is now, is the catalyst this side need to be successful. He deserves all the praise in the world for turning things around, proving he is the focal point of this Rangers team and proving he does have the heart and discipline to become a Rangers legend the status of silverware will bring.
He has thirteen goals already, averaging a goal every seventy odd minutes and he looks like he can at very least match his tally of thirty from last season.
We will need that focused Alfredo, that Alfredo can fire Rangers to glory this season and he looks determined, focused and ready to do it.
For him this summer it truly has been a case of ignoring the nonsense, the irrelevant and the noise. The fact he has done that and so well hasn’t gone amiss amongst those that matter.
He knows what he means to us and it’s impossible not to love him