Two years ago, Ibrox Noise’s Derek posited a sensation €120M fee for Alfredo Morelos. It was optimistic, yes, but he was top scorer in the Europa League and he was an international for Colombia.
He was also destroying the SPL, and when we look at fees for the best strikers in Europe at that time, the Coutinhos, Neymars, Suarez, you name it, they went for crazy money.
He might not have been in their class yet, but like former Celtic defender Virgil Van Dijk, there was no limit on his potential.
Of course, it didn’t work out that way. He lost form, lost his way, and by the time Lille bid £16.5M for him, frustration grew among fans in the months that followed that we’d rejected that.
And by the time Steven Gerrard quit Rangers, Morelos’ stock was at an all-time low.
Yes, he could turn on moments, with Ibrox Noise’s Natalie arguing that those massive last-minute big goals were evidence he still had it, but overall the performances under SG had become, in a word, poor.
Enter GVB. Enter the change in Morelos.
Enter the transformation from uninterested passive forward who spent far too much time in midfield to electric, on-song, lean, team-playing attacker who positions himself where a striker should and looks keen.
In fact, we can honestly say this is the happiest we can remember Alfie ever looking since he joined Ibrox, and whether he’s playing for a move or thriving under Gio, the Colombian has gone very quickly into undroppable territory.
At present, there’s not even vague competition for best striker in the league, it’s el-buffalo by a distance.
He’s the complete forward. Strong, big, quick, sharp, superb at hold up and a great team player, plus benefiting gaining that yard of pace by losing a pound of weight.
And the biggest benefit? He’s regained that old form but WITHOUT the ill-discipline. He’s not the ‘angry wee buff’, he’s a completely refined version of that striker who now doesn’t look like he’s about to get sent off but does retain the good stuff. The perfect blend.
He’s not back to being a €120M striker (was he ever), but there’s no question his value has skyrocketed again.
The Gio effect on Rangers has been absolutely gargantuan. To his credit, Gerrard built this squad, but ultimately he completely mismanaged it, and Gio is tweaking everything that was wrong and honing a dynamite collection of players from it.
Few are benefiting as much as Alfie from this, and long may it continue.