Danny Lewis provides a detailed scout report about Alfredo Morelos, Rangers’ new striker.
There are plenty of Colombians who have impressed the masses when coming over to Europe, with Falcao, James Rodriguez, and Iván Cordoba to name a few. All of those players have all had a long lasting impact for their clubs. Davinson Sanchez is the latest player to force Europe to stand up and take notice and Alfredo Morelos could be the next one to make his mark in the continent. He won’t be known by many yet, but he is somebody that football fans should be looking out for.
He has been plying his trade with Finnish club HJK and is the top scorer in the Veikkausliiga with 11 goals in 12 league games. Despite being just 20, the physical forward has experience in European competition, as he was a main player in the HJK team that nearly reached the group stages of the Europa League last season, as well as having played for his country, with four caps for Colombia Under 17s and six for their Under 20s to his name.
His ambitions to make his name known across Europe has taken another step, as he has just made the move to Rangers. Following on from their well documented troubles in recent seasons, his new club are looking to gain their status as a power in both Scotland and Europe and Morelos will be aiming to do the same.
Who is Alfredo Morelos?
Alfredo Morelos is a 20 year old striker, who was born in Cereté, Colombia. He started his off his professional career in Columbia with Independiente Medellin, making his debut in 2014 as an exciting teenager. Morelos failed to really make much of an impact at the Colombian club, making only 12 league starts across two seasons. However, the powerful striker was sent on loan to HJK where he begun to show the talent that he possesses.
In the season he spent on loan at the Finnish club he got 30 goals in 43 appearances in all competitions. This included four goals in European competition, with two against FK Atlantas, one against Beroe Stara Zagora and another against IFK Göteborg, although his last goal in the competition wasn’t enough to prevent his side from being knocked out in the 3rd qualifying round of the Europa League. He finished that season as the second top scorer in the league with 16 goals, one behind Roope Riski.
His performances earned him a permanent move to Helsinki, as the Colombian striker signed in a deal worth approximately £425,000 in January 2017. Since then he has improved further, already notching up 11 goals in the Veikkausliiga, putting him five goals ahead of any other player in the league at the time of writing. This form was enough to make Rangers come in with a bid for around £1 million and he has now signed for them.
What is his Style of Play?
Morelos is a very direct player who uses pace, power and strength in an almost brutish way to force his way through opposing defenders. When he receives the ball from his deeper lying team mates he is not afraid to turn and run on his own, using his physical capabilities to try to force a chance, rather than waiting for his team mates to catch up, which would potentially slow down a counter attack. He is always looking to get on the score sheet and can often be found just outside the six yard box ready to pounce on balls in from team mates such as Atom, Juha Pirinen and Evans Mensah.
Off the ball Morelos is very hard working and is the sort of striker that will defend from the front and try to win the ball back for his side. There are times when his frustrations get the better of him, for example when playing against HIFK he kicked the ball away after feeling he had been fouled, but like many strikers, the aggression that he shows definitely enhances his game.
What are his Strengths?
His physicality is a large reason why he is so hard to deal with. His pace, power and strength are the framework from which he plays the game. This physical attributes allow him to hold the ball up before bringing a team mate into the game, to run past opposition defenders and to make sure that he is able to do those things all game. He isn’t the tallest, standing at 5 foot 9 inches, but he has a good leap and is certainly no pushover in the air.
Another strength which is a key one for any striker is that he gets goals. At the time of writing, Morelos has a Veikkausliiga total of 11 goals in just in just 12 league matches, as well as a further five in seven games in the Suomen Cup.
Last season Morelos got 16 goals in 30 games, which is a great record, but doesn’t match his exploits in front of goal so far this season. This shows how much he is developing, which is something that will excite fans, as it highlights the fact that he is not yet the finished article and that there is still more potential within him that is ready to be brought out.
Morelos also has incredible persistence. He will keep going all game to make sure that he gets on the score sheet and helps his team as much as possible. The Colombian striker has scored five goals in all competitions in the last 10 minutes of matches since the Finnish season started in January.
What are his Weaknesses?
Morelos’ overall game could potentially benefit from a little bit of refinement. Due to the speed with which he often plays the game, he can sometimes mess up his shot and scuff attempts when in front of goal. This is something he will have to cut out of his game and develop as he continues to move into bigger leagues where he will get fewer chances.
His decision making can also be off at times, which can result in him losing the ball when there would have been an option which could have led to a clear goal scoring chance. The Colombian’s running will often have an end product once he gets to the by line, but there are times when he and his team mates could potentially benefit from him picking his head up and looking to bring someone into the game rather than attempting to go it alone.
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