Gordon Strachan has insisted he is a big admirer of Alfredo Morelos but urged the Rangers striker to go to the next level by stamping out his disciplinary problems.
Ex-Celtic manager Strachan is convinced Morelos is ready for the English Premier League as he heads into the Old Firm on Sunday with 29 goals already this season, along with four red cards.
Strachan told the Scottish Sun: “Morelos will be a success wherever he goes next and he could play in the Premier League down south no bother. He’s a talent, all right.
“But there’s only one man who’s going to change the way he is and that’s himself. The team that’s suffered from his tackles and indiscipline has been Rangers.
“So he has to decide, ‘Do I pretend to be aggressive — because he’s not hurting anyone — or do I change?’
“If he’d been on the pitch for the games he’s missed through suspension, the way he’s scoring goals, he’d have another five or six goals.
“All the things he’s been sent off for have been wee bits of petulance. He’s not hurt anybody — but he keeps giving referees the opportunity. He has to say, ‘This club are my family and my family have helped me, so I have to help them by being on the pitch’.”
Football Insider verdict:
In his first season at Ibrox, Morelos looked a fine striker but with too many rough edges to slot into a Premier League team. It wasn’t just the hair-trigger temper, either. The Colombian had a tendency to miss sitters and his end product was too often missing in action. Doubts over the 22-year-old’s ability to thrive at the elite level have subsided this season, and a move to an English Championship club would not be a smart one. He’s too good for that. Morelos’ movement, mobility and ability to link the play and finish off chances add up to making him the best player in the SPL. As Strachan points out, he would probably be on 35 goals if he hadn’t spent so many games on the sidelines. The exciting thing for those with a vested interest in the south American firebrand is he’s young enough to improve, as well. What he needs to convince elite clubs to shell out £15million-plus is a matchwinning display or two in an Old Firm clash, or an elite cup fixture. His record in these type of games has been pretty poor so far.
In other Rangers transfer news, are the club about to sign a soon-available Celtic player?