Gabby Agbonlahor has claimed Steven Gerrard has now got the upper hand in his dealings with Alfredo Morelos at Rangers.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Connor Whitley, the ex-Aston Villa striker highlighted how the increased competition at Ibrox means the manager is no longer reliant on the matchwinning qualities of the Colombian or him playing every match.
Rangers demolished Hamilton 8-0 last Sunday with Morelos unused on the sub’s bench and he has not featured at all in four of Rangers’ 14 league matches this term.
Agbonlahor believes Morelos remains a key player for Rangers and a big thorn in Celtic’s 10-in-a-row pursuit but it is the manager who is the main man.
“What I see from Morelos is, like, he needs to have beef on the pitch to keep going. You
see him with Scott Brown, see him with other players – he has to have an argument on the pitch and be annoyed with someone to keep getting going,” he told Football Insider.
“What I like about him is that he’s a great player but when you’re playing for a manager like Steven Gerrard, who’s been there and done it at the highest level, he’s the manager, he’s the gaffer, you’ve got respect him.
“Steven Gerrard has showed that with the way sometimes he will drop him, sometimes you’ll bring him off if he’s not performing.
“There’s been links with Morelos getting a move and Steven Gerrard will always be the one who has the most respect. ‘Yes, you might want to leave, and maybe I’ll let you leave, but it’s got to be the right money for the club and the right timing’.
“With Kemar Roofe and Jemaine Defoe as competition, if Morelos isn’t at it then Steven Gerrard knows he’s got players that can come in.
“That’s what you need as a manager, you can’t be reliant on a player and you can’t let a player know that, no matter what he does, he’s playing every game because that’s
damaging to the squad and a manager.
“That’s what Steven Gerrard’s done there, no one’s guaranteed to start in that team.”
Morelos has scored seven goals from 16 matches this season and also supplied four assists.
But he has netted in only two of the 10 Scottish Premiership games he has played in, failing to make the team for the other four.