Rangers are reportedly close to signing Colombian under-17s international Juan Diego Alegria on loan, with an option to make the deal permanent included.
According to Colombian outlet Antena 2, talks are “well advanced”, although it was not made clear if he is expected to arrive as early as the January transfer window.
The 18-year-old is currently playing for Finnish side FC Honka and will follow the same path to Ibrox trodden initially by his countryman Alfredo Morelos in 2017.
The 24-year-old joined the Gers from Veikkausliiga side HJK Helsinki and unsurprisingly, the comparisons have been made. Both players started their career in Colombia, before moving to Finland as teenagers and eventually joining Rangers.
However, Morelos spent 18 months in Finland with HJK, while Alegria only arrived in September of this year. In that time, the 18-year-old has only made six senior appearances, having been promoted to the first team after scoring four goals in four appearances for the FC Honka II (via Transfermarkt).
On the other hand, Morelos joined the Gers two days before his 21st birthday and came off the back of a prolific spell with Veikkausliiga title-chasers HJK. In 42 league appearances for the club, he scored 27 goals and was named as the best striker of the year at the end of the 2016 season (via Transfermarkt).
Put simply, on his arrival at Ibrox in 2017, Morelos was a far more experienced and seasoned player than Alegria is now. The expectations put on the young man’s shoulders must be adapted accordingly, as it could be a while until he is seen in a Rangers shirt, with Morelos, Cedric Itten, Kemar Roofe and Jermain Defoe all vying for a starting berth.
The limited information that exists on Alegria suggests that he is a real talent and it is clear that Rangers want to take a closer look before committing to him in the long-term. Given a few years, he could turn out to be the next Morelos, but the comparison must wait for now.
In other Rangers news, one outstanding Gers ace hit top form v Ross County