With the transfer window closed, Rangers fans breathed a sigh of relief that Alfredo Morelos was staying, but a new rumour has emerged…
The more things change the more they stay the same, particularly in 2020. Hasn’t this year dragged like no other year in memory? The lockdown, the knee bending for reasons we no longer know, the social distancing and the endless transfer sagas, drawn out intentionally for lack of much else to discuss in the sporting world. It’s painful.
Spare a thought for the Scottish footballing media, contractually obligated to provide daily content but between coronavirus and international breaks, unable to meet these obligations without cutting some corners. No better example of this exists than with Alfredo Morelos.
Oh yes, you thought we were finally done with these rumours about him, right? A month ago he was sitting on the Rangers bench, having had his head turned by links to Ligue 1 side Lille. What followed was weeks of links to this club and to that club, running the gamut between Bayer Leverkusen and West Bromwich Albion. The former was a link because we played them, the latter because they needed a striker – it’s literally as tenuous as that.
Alas, the saga continues and this one is a doozy. Qatari side Al Duhail are apparently considering a move for Morelos, presumably using the bottomless pit of money that comes with being owned by an oil producing country. Such a move would, it is suggested, act as a fast track to PSG – seeing as they too are owned by the very same nation. As quoted by the Daily Record;
"“It’s believed the striker was holding out for a move to straight into one of the continent’s biggest five leagues on the back of his prolific scoring exploits in last season’s Europa League campaign.But the Qatari interest has remained strong throughout and Al Duhail believe they may be able to tempt him to move to Doha with the extra lure of a potential fast-track move to Paris Saint-Germain through an established link-up between the ownerships of both clubs.The Qatar Stars League’s transfer window runs until October 25 which means Al Duhail – who have already splashed out on former Juventus trio Mario Mandzukic, Medhi Benatia and Han Kwang-song – have more than two weeks left to launch another move.”"
Oh great, so we have until October 25th to see whether this one actually had any credibility to it or if it was yet another dart against the dart board of transfer links. Now that’s a depressing thought.
Ultimately, I think there’s a good likelihood that Morelos stays at this stage and certainly you could make an argument for why. He’s been a starter in the last four matches, though he only managed one goal in that time, playing the full 90 minutes in essentially 3 of them. He’s clearly worked his way back into the squad and shown to Gerrard his focus is back on Rangers again, that much was a requirement for any game time – let alone as much as he’s seen.
That said, as noted above, he hasn’t exactly been in blistering form. Chances have gone begging for Alfredo, particularly in the disappointing 2-2 draw at Hibs, and this has really been papered over by how good the rest of the team has been. When your skipper is netting 8 goals in as many games then it’s easier to overlook a striker going through a drier patch.
Of course, that won’t last forever, Alfredo is seriously talented – and all the interest in him is evidence of that – and almost guarantees north of 15 goals per season. Rangers holding onto him, while also making a raft of big signings, is actually massive then for two reasons. First and most obviously, because he can contribute in a big way this season towards the 55. Secondly though, they all said we needed to make a big sale to fund all our incomings, yet here we are.
We’ve talked before about the rumours of Rangers financial difficulties being blown out of proportion, but more than that I think this puts the final nail in the coffin of the argument that we can’t compete.
In any case, there’s another Alfredo Morelos rumour to spice up the international break. It’s tiresome but has become somewhat inevitable. The only good news is, that them turning out to be false has become equally inevitable too.