Murty: 'Frustrated' Rangers star has opportunity to prove his worth v Celtic
Rangers manager Graeme Murty has challenged striker Alfredo Morelos to prove his value to the Ibrox giants after signing an extension to his Gers contract.
The Colombian striker added a year to his Gers deal after a blistering start to life in Scotland with 17 goals in 34 appearances following his £1million move from HJK Helsinki last summer.
The 21-year-old has been attracting big money bids from China in recent months and Murty wants him to prove that was the right decision by the Gers and help them close the gap to league leaders Celtic.
“This is an opportunity for him, and the other members of the squad, to prove the business we did in January, and previous to that, has been good and that it has helped us advance as a football club. I’m a firm believer that it has and this is the biggest test of that,” Murty said, as quoted by the Daily Express.
“If you see him in training and the response he’s had from that, I’m confident he will be desperate to go and put the ball in the back of the net.
“He cut a frustrated figure when he came off the pitch last Saturday against Falkirk, possibly not helped by another striker (Jason Cummings) getting a hat-trick. That’s just the way strikers are.
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“If he gets another opportunity I have no doubt he will get into scoring areas and stick one away.”
Morelos has fired himself to the top of the Scottish Premiership goalscoring charts and emerged as a contender for a place in Colombia’s squad for this summer’s World Cup in Russia.
Morelos follows the likes of James Tavernier, Ross McCrorie, Wes Foderingham and Josh Windass in penning an extension to his contract this season as the Light Blues tie down key players.
Football Insider verdict:
The decision not to cash in on Morelos was a huge one by the Ibrox board and they now need the 21-year-old hitman to continue scoring and repay their faith in him. With bids reportedly north of £12million tabled for Morelos, that could have gone a long way to replacing the Colombian and strengthening the squad at Ibrox to challenge for the title. Morelos can still get much better and if he can do that at Ibrox then the Gers’ insistence they weren’t selling will more than pay off for them. Luckily for the club, despite bids being rejected, Morelos hasn’t shown any signs of being unhappy at the decision by the Gers to keep him in Scotland.