Alfredo Morelos produced “probably the worst performance of the season” for Rangers at St Mirren to let down Giovanni van Bronckhorst, says Richard Foster.
The star striker has been far from his best for most of the campaign but started the 1-1 draw on Saturday (12 November), which put the manager’s job even further in doubt, with Antonio Colak ruled out through injury.
He was off colour all game and picked up a completely needless booking within seconds of the second half kicking off, leading Foster to believe that he’s checked out of Rangers and wants to leave, but will struggle to find any takers on that evidence.
Live on BBC Sportscene on Saturday night (12 November, 7.49pm) Steven Thompson said of the Colombian: “This man had, let’s just call it an off day.”
Foster said: “When you’re a manager, you’re team are struggling, and you’re in a bad spot. You don’t need the guy that’s leading your line to perform like Alfredo Morelos, because not only was his quality poor, he just looked disinterested. He didn’t look fit enough.
“What I don’t understand, it seems as if his head’s away from Rangers and he wants to leave. So go out on the pitch and show what you can do. Go and score goals, so teams are looking and going, ‘Right, I really want to sign him’.
“If you’re watching this today I don’t know who signs Alfredo Morelos, because that was not what van Bronckhorst needed. Rangers are in a bind and he produces probably one of the worst performances of the season.”
A bemused Michael Stewart then added: “Start of the second half, he ran right into [Ethan] Erhahon and got booked, and it was just like no real idea of what he’s thinking about.”
Shadow of his former self
There was a time when the absence of Morelos would strike fear into the hearts of the Rangers supporters, and while there is the occasional glimpse of what he can do at his best it is so infrequent this season it’s now not a major issue for him to not play most of the time.
Colak’s goalscoring form since he arrived looks to have knocked El Bufalo’s belief that he is valued at Ibrox, just at the time when a new contract needed to be signed to keep him in Glasgow.
Barring a shock change of direction, the talks over an extension which were shelved when Morelos got himself dropped from the squad earlier in the year don’t look in much danger of getting anywhere at this stage.
Seeing the scorer of 115 goals in a Light Blue shirt shuffle out of Ibrox for nothing at the end of a season which has largely broken the bond between player, club and fans is probably the worst case scenario for his time with the Gers ending.
Had he not required thigh surgery last season, at a point where he was in arguably his best ever form, then at the very least he could have been sold for a decent amount of money in the summer.
Keeping hold of him was a genuine concern at the time, but no market properly materialised despite some interest, and it is fair to wonder, as Foster has, whether even that interest now remains.
Perhaps a change of manager, which appears increasingly likely, will lead to a boost in his prospects, but it goes without saying that a fully fit and firing Morelos would have decreased the need for things to ever reach this point for either him or his boss.