Steven Gerrard yesterday called on Alfredo Morelos himself to declare he’s happy at Ibrox and that he’s staying, and this is a very interesting change of tact on the manager’s side.
Since joining in summer 2017, the Colombian hasn’t once suggested he’s staying – he has praised the fans and said he’s happy occasionally, but the 23-year old hasn’t ever implied or even come close to it that he intends to remain long-term.
Gerrard’s gauntlet to him to appear in a press-conference alongside him while even slightly ribbing him for his infamous lack of English tongue was of a man completely fed up with both the speculation and questions over Morelos and the player’s own lack of commitment.
In two years, Morelos is the only significant Rangers player never to have appeared in front of the press, even with a translator. Every other player in our shirt has, at one point or another, appeared alongside the manager, including Sadiq, Coulibaly and Alves – the only exceptions to this were Carlos Pena and Eduardo Herrera, and they’re not the illustrious company you wish to be compared to.
Sure, many could make the point about his English not being good enough, but that’s why clubs have translators. How Morelos has managed to avoid press outings up till now we couldn’t quite tell you.
The last decent interview he gave was to RTV in August last year, almost a year ago, and while it was in Spanish it was the only time he has ever really spoken at length about Rangers.
And with all the speculation over him, and crucially his lack of commitment, his manager has got to the end of his tether with it and wants the striker to end it one way or another.
It’s unprecedented – to have a Rangers manager demand his player expresses his desire to stay. Indeed, Stevie has done a few things we’ve rarely seen before, such as publicly confirming the fee for Filip Helander.
But in this case we absolutely don’t blame the boss and indeed back this course of action. He must be completely done in with the number of times journos ask, assisted by the fact Morelos never commits.
Steven Gerrard is in a slightly tricky position here – he is unable to fully plan next season’s striking options until he knows one way or the other whether Morelos is staying. It means he doesn’t know if he needs to replace the frontman, or if he can plan ahead for life with him still at Ibrox.
And that isn’t ideal.
So, this switch in tactic is justified on the boss’s half – he needs to get some semblance of understanding what his options will be up front, and until Morelos says one way or the other over his future, he is denying his manager that.
Over to you Freddo.