Rangers: Move in summer makes sense for star striker

Alfredo Morelos has been linked to a possible summer move before but new rumors and a combination of disciplinary issues along with a lackluster start to 2020 could make this the right offer to take for Rangers.

These transfer rumors may come with mixed reactions from Rangers fans everywhere, as their star striker has been linked to several transfer rumors with some of the biggest clubs in the world this past week. Now, the 23-year-old Colombian striker has been on the radar of clubs across Europe before, but something feels right about this possible move.

Reports this week out of Spain have mentioned an offer for Morelos from Spanish power Atletico Madrid that could play out a couple of different ways. The first one would be a straight transfer that would net the Rangers anywhere from fifteen to twenty million euros. Now after an initial transfer fee of a little over one million euros that the club paid for the then 21-year-old striker from Finnish side HJK Helsinki back in 2017, that is a pretty nice return on investment for the Rangers in an uncertain time in sports.

LEON, SPAIN – JANUARY 23: Sergio Marcos of Cultural Leonesa competes for the ball with Rodrigo Riquelme of Atletico de Madrid during the Copa del Rey round of 32 match between Cultural Leonesa and Atletico de Madrid at Estadio Reino de Leon on January 23, 2020 in Leon, Spain. (Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)

The second way this could play out would be if Atletico Madrid sweetens the deal by sending heavily sought after 19-year-old Rodrigo Riquelme to Glasgow in a swap in addition to the aforementioned sum of money. Riquelme is drawing interest from clubs all over Europe after an impressive season playing for Atletico Madrid B in the Spanish Segunda Division B where he netted five goals to go along with 2 assists in 21 appearances.

It’s been known for several weeks that the Rangers aren’t the only Glasgow based team interested in the 19-year-old Spanish winger, as city rivals Celtic also have their eyes on Riquelme, making Atletico Madrid’s offer that much more tempting. But using Riquelme as leverage may only work if he resigns with the Spanish giants as his current contract expires at the end of the season. If he chooses to leave for either Scottish team on a free in the summer, the Rangers may just be looking at Morelos departure as money coming into the club and nothing else.

This should have been a little expected though, at least for most fans who understand a player like Morelos and his ambition to play at the highest level possible as well as understanding what this would mean to the club financially.

The move may also be what’s needed at the moment given the financial instability of not only the Rangers but the entire Scottish Premiership. After the type of month the SPFL has had, postponing all matches like the rest of the world in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic,

And although Morelos has very much made his mark in Glasgow as a player with 29 goals in all fixtures this past season along with 10 assists. Not to mention his 77 goals and 29 assists since arriving in the Premiership a little over three seasons ago. His excellence on the pitch has at times come with numerous disciplinary run-ins with officials and his own manager Steve Gerrard. After failing to show up to training on occasion as well as failing to return to Scotland after returning home to Colombia, these actions on and off the pitch have caused conflict among fans who may have a hard time turning the other cheek.

Gerrard has also publicly stated that the club wouldn’t sell their star striker, even if offered somewhere in the neighborhood of 50 million euros. Though that was back in November of last year, right before Morelos embarked on a streak of goal-less Premiership fixtures that began on December 29th in the Rangers 2-1 win over Celtic at Celtic Park and is still active.

Even with Morelos’ current dry spell, his impact on the club offensively won’t be easy to replace. His 12 goals in Premiership fixtures this season is second on the team behind  veteran center-forward Jermain Defoe, who has still shown an incredible effectiveness on the pitch at thirty-seven years old. And aside from a calf injury suffered against Ross County on January 29th, nothing else seems to be slowing Defoe down enough to prevent him from being an impact player in the Scottish Premiership.

Then there’s Ryan Kent who returned back to Rangers permanently in September after spending last season on loan from Liverpool. He has certainly had an impact since his return, sitting at third on the team in goals scored with seven in Premiership matches and eight in all fixtures to go along with four assists.

But still how do you replace someone who is setting records when the Rangers play in Europe? In reality, you don’t, at least not right away barring some blockbuster signing soon after. And though these rumors are still very new and after all just rumors, there hasn’t been any subsequent talk regarding any sort of replacement for Morelos after the move aside from Raquelme.

Again, let’s look on the bright side, selling players for a profit especially to one of the biggest clubs in the world would certainly give Rangers that. Aside from the positives financially, being able to say you bring in players, develop them and then send them to the top leagues in Europe is a pretty easy thing to talk up to potential players.

I mean, given everything that’s happening in the world of sport at the moment you have to look at the positives, and this move could be one.

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