BBC Sport pundit Neil McCann has criticised Glasgow Rangers striker Alfredo Morelos for his performance on Thursday night, claiming he must be a huge source of frustration for Ibrox manager Steven Gerrard.
Since the return to action after the winter break, the Rangers forward has failed to replicate his earlier form, and in the Europa League last-16 first leg against Bayer Leverkusen he once again flattered to deceive.
Although Morelos did have a few good chances in the 3-1 defeat, he’s very much lost his edge since rattling in 28 goals before the winter break, with Rangers’ season having effectively collapsed since January.
Morelos also found himself disciplined late last month for failing to return back to the Rangers camp on time after being allowed to travel home in midweek, Gerrard dropping him for the Scottish Cup clash with Hearts.
As a result, McCann wondered where “his mind is at” and claimed someone as talented as Morelos should have done better against Leverkusen.
“For a man of Alfredo Morelos’ ability, a couple of the chances he had tonight were not difficult,” McCann told BBC Sport. “I don’t know where his mind is at but it must be a huge source of frustration for Steven Gerrard.
McCann is spot on – for a player to go from scoring 28 goals in the first half of the season to a miserly one since the return is extremely concerning, even though the whole Rangers team has dropped in form since then.
The Europa League is pretty much Rangers’ last chance saloon in terms of salvaging anything from a season which promised so much, and now the Ibrox side’s odds of remaining in the competition have become extremely slim.
Gerrard has some big decisions to make both in the short-term – starting Florian Kamberi instead of Morelos this weekend, perhaps – and in the long-term – deciding whether to give Morelos another chance at leading the Rangers line next season or cutting his losses.