Rangers bagged a sweet victory against their bitter Old Firm rivals Celtic on Sunday at Parkhead, winning 2-1 to secure a first away win in nine years and cut the gap at the top of the Scottish Premiership to two points, with a game in hand.
The win came at a cost, though, as Alfredo Morelos was shown his marching orders after picking up two yellow cards, and he is now set to miss the Light Blues’ first three games of the year.
Manager Steven Gerrard now has to rely on Jermain Defoe in the Colombian’s absence, and Sky Sports pundit Charlie Nicholas reckons his indiscipline could cost him a place in the starting line-up going forward.
“Alfredo Morelos has yet another red card to his name and better watch out that Steven Gerrard doesn’t send him packing. The Rangers boss has protected him a lot and stood by him by playing him every week,” the former Celtic star told the Daily Express (via The Scottish Sun).
“If Gerrard goes out and buys another top striker in January, then Alfredo may no longer be an automatic pick. The two yellows were easy decisions for the ref to make and there was no debate over Sunday’s ordering off.
“I know he might not care because Rangers won – it doesn’t matter if he scores or not! The crazy thing is that he is probably everybody’s pet hate – who doesn’t support Rangers! He scores goals and to every Rangers fan he is one of their idols.”
Morelos had constantly been linked with a Rangers exit ahead of this month’s transfer window, but it’s hard to see the Light Blues letting such an important player go midway through the campaign.
It remains to be seen if Gerrard will strengthen his striking department in the coming days, but dropping the Colombian international despite his disciplinary shortcomings doesn’t look feasible.
The 23-year-old has 12 league goals to his name in 18 games, but could cost his side after getting sent off twice in his last two starts.
As a result, Morelos is banned for the St Mirren game, while he will also sit out the trip to Hearts as reported by The Scottish Sun.
He will also miss the Scottish Cup encounter with Stranraer after picking up two yellow cards in the competition last season.