Pundit Exclusive: Rangers told to drop Ibrox star for clash v Hibs
Noel Whelan has urged Rangers boss Steven Gerrard to not risk Kemar Roofe in Sunday’s game against Hibs.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, the former Leeds forward delivered his verdict after Roofe limped off with a calf injury in Rangers’ Europa League tie with Lincoln Red Imps on Thursday.
Gerrard said on Friday that he believes the former Anderlecht strike will “pull through” and he was taken off in Gibraltar as a precaution.
🗣️ Steven Gerrard: “On the back of last night we are very confident that Kemar will pull through.
"We think he has got that really early; he's just come off with a bit of tightness and I think he's been really sensible there."
Read a full injury update from the manager 👇
— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) September 18, 2020
The ‘Gers won the game 5-0 with half-time substitute Alfredo Morelos scoring twice after he recovered from a leg injury suffered in last weekend’s win against Dundee United.
And with Morelos finding his form, Whelan believes the Colombian has made Gerrard’s decision to potentially drop Roofe easier.
He told Football Insider: “Right now you’ve got two sides of the same coin. Roofe’s gone out for a while, we don’t know the extent of the injury.
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“But you’ve got Morelos on fire again, he seems to be in a happy place, playing great football.
“So that kind of decision is made easier, who to drop. You’re going to leave Kemar Roofe out because he’s injured.
“Morelos has gone and scored two goals and showed great character and he’s back in the side.
“Now you’ve got Jermain Defoe who is challenging as well and pushing for a start.”
Roofe suffered a similar calf injury while at Anderlecht and at Leeds, he missed nine games in Belgium last season and six for the Yorkshire giants in the previous campaign.
The 27-year-old has enjoyed a fine start to life at Ibrox, he’s scored twice in five Scottish Premiership games for the light blues.
In other Rangers news, Alan Hutton has shared great insight into a former teammate who Rangers are in talks to sign.