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Gio must ruthlessly axe £33k-p/w Rangers "nightmare" vs Sparta Prague, his time's up - opinion

Football FanCast logo Football FanCast 6 days ago Daniel Emery
morelos-rangers-gio-sparta © Provided by Football FanCast morelos-rangers-gio-sparta

Rangers manager Gio van Bronckhorst is set for his first match in charge of the Glasgow giants this week at Ibrox on Thursday night.

The Gers host Sparta Prague in the Europa League as they attempt to keep their dreams of progressing in the competition alive with a win.

He watched on from the stands as the club fell short of reaching the League Cup final over the weekend. They lost 3-1 to Hibernian, with Martin Doyle scoring a first-half hat-trick.

Time’s up

One player he must ruthlessly axe for this clash is Colombian forward Alfredo Morelos, who struggled badly in the defeat.

The £33k-per-week attacker endured a difficult afternoon in the loss to Hibernian and his display could call time on his place in the starting XI, for now.

Football Scotland reporter Calum Woodger handed him a dismal 3/10 match rating. He wrote: “A very poor outing from the Colombian who disappeared in a big game once again – abysmal. 3”

He has now scored seven goals in 21 appearances in all competitions, including four in 11 Premiership matches, and is yet to score in the group stages of the Europa League. Morelos has had nine shots in the four games in this competition and has not registered a single assist, highlighting his struggles in Europe.

His form in the Europa League and his ‘abysmal’ showing against Hibernian should result in van Bronckhorst axing him from the XI. Another player should be given the opportunity to show that they can lead the line for the Gers, as they look to beat the Czech outfit.

The frustrating part of Morelos’ recent showing is that he has previously shown his quality. Speaking anonymously to The Athletic in 2019, a Scottish Premiership player called him a ‘nightmare’ to defend against. 

“There’s never a time when he’s walking about or not interested in the game. He’s always involved, whether that’s taking you away or dragging you closer to the ball.

“He’s kind of dropping deep now and going out wide. That’s a nightmare for defenders because he’s your player that you’re meant to be man-marking but then you’re dragged out of position and you’ve got midfield runners taking his space. That means you need to start talking to your full-backs and centre-mids to start swapping players, which makes it a lot more difficult.”

He also managed three goals and seven assists in ten Europa League games last season, proving that he does have the ability to make an impact at this level. However, something has gone wrong for him this term and spending this match on the bench could potentially give him the jolt he needs to buck up his act, which is why the Dutch coach must make this key decision.

AND in other news, 129 appearances: Rangers secured dream deal with £0 gem who “embodies professionalism”…

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