While there were a few failings last night, there were certainly a number of substantial successes. Ryan Jack before his exit was massive, Scott Arfield was productive and Glen Kamara has had worse nights.
But two Rangers mens’ stock rose even further with two standout displays showing consistency, quality and the ability to perform on this stage.
Alfredo Morelos and Borna Barisic might not quite have had the nights of their footballing lives, but with Morelos’ outstanding goal at this level and Barisic’s consistent performance akin to what he produces for his country, there is little doubt both of them have seen a huge hike in their market value.
Both are internationals, both are performing in European competition now, and both are increasingly becoming massive assets Rangers would do well to retain.
Let’s begin with Barisic – it’s almost ludicrous to find ourselves discussing the potential difficulty of holding onto a player who only 6 weeks ago continued to be the hapless and heartless flop he was last season. But here we are – Barisic, is steadily growing in confidence and quality, and those crosses have returned in abundance.
Quite simply, Borna Barisic’s left peg is a wand, easily the best in the country, and we used it as his only contribution last season on a maiden campaign to forget. It also vanished from his repertoire this season until very recently, but since that goal at St Mirren followed by fine display v Feyenoord, it’s a different Barisic. A regular international for Croatia, Barisic potentially had the value of one, and while we suggested an international of his calibre was worth £20M without having done it for Rangers, now that he’s producing domestically, there can be even less doubt about his feasible worth.
Then there’s recalled Colombia international Alfredo Morelos. This boy has removed all the bad from his game of last season and improved the good while adding even more – he is regularly scoring at the highest levels against the top opponents and he’s scoring domestically for fun. He comes shorter and supports midfield, he links up attack and he acts as a target man. The only weakness in his game is his height, and that he can’t be a true centre forward aerially like a monster in the vein of Daniel Cousin. But he has all the rest. And a player of his quality is valued? We’re looking into the £30M realm now.
Morelos is priceless for Rangers now – he’s realising every ounce of potential while Barisic is growing into his too.
While it seems ridiculous to suggest £50M for two Rangers players on a night the side lost, their standout displays, international status (Remember Dembele hadn’t even been called up for France far less played – he scored Old Firm goals against a horrific Rangers and a few in the UCL – Morelos’ CV is certainly matching his and more) and consistency for this club has to see values close to what they are worth on this market.
And it makes pleasing reading for Rangers fans.
Not that we actually want to sell either of them now, mind you!