By Noel Whelan

20th Mar, 2020 | 4:00pm

Exclusive: Whelan claims Gerrard 'Taking risk' with Rangers star after announcement

Noel Whelan insists that Rangers manager Steven Gerrard is “taking a risk” by letting his overseas players like Alfredo Morelos return home amid the postponement of fixtures.

The former Leeds and Aberdeen hitman, speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, says the boss is showing a lot of trust in his squad but that it is a decision that could backfire.

In a statement to the Press Association and cited by the BBC, Rangers have confirmed that they will allow foreign stars to head back to their countries while the season is suspended, revealing some have chosen to remain in Glasgow.

Gerrard has already had to internally discipline star striker Alfredo Morelos this season after he returned late from some pre-arranged leave.

Whelan says that the Gers boss is taking a gamble letting players jet off amid such uncertainty, suggesting he could face a similar situation again.

Whelan told Football Insider: “He might want to keep Morelos back! He’s been bitten once by Morelos not coming back on time and disrespecting the manager and his players.

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“You’ve got to hope that if that is the case they’re all professional enough to be given this kind of treat, really, from Steven Gerrard. He could have very easily kept them there, pulling them in every now and then to do training.

“To allow them to go home, they need to return the favour, coming back on time and ready to work. Everything’s so up in the air at the minute, we’re not out of it by any stretch of the imagination.

“It is a worry, it’s got to be, but Steven wouldn’t allow that to happen if he didn’t feel confident enough these players can return. You’re always taking a risk.” 

Rangers currently sit 13 points behind league-leaders Celtic in the hunt for the Premiership title, although they do have a game in hand over the Hoops.

They also face a fight to keep their Europa League hopes alive after losing to Bayer Leverkusen in their first-leg tie at Ibrox.

In other Rangers news, Alan Hutton has delivered his verdict from Ibrox after Celtic agreed a record-breaking deal.