Leeds United v TottenhamMay 8 LIVE
Steven Gerrard says Alfredo Morelos is still giving his all despite speculation
The Colombian was Rangers’ top scorer last season.
Steven Gerrard insists he has seen no drop off in commitment from Rangers striker Alfredo Morelos.
Last season’s top scorer was the subject of stories this week linking him with a move to Chinese outfit Hebei Fortune – although no bid ever materialised.
But the Light Blues legions still fear their club’s most prized asset could yet be lured away by a big money bid from down south or Europe before the end of the transfer window.
Gerrard announced last week he was hoping to put the 23-year-old Colombian – whose English is limited – in front of the Scottish media for the first time since he made his move to Glasgow in the summer of 2017 to answer questions on his plans for the months ahead.
But again the former HJK Helsinki player was not present as Gerrard held his pre-match press conference ahead of Sunday’s Ladbrokes Premiership curtain-raiser at Kilmarnock.
That left the Rangers boss, having arrived back at the club’s training ground following Thursday night’s goalless draw with Progres Niederkorn in the Europa League, to say: “I think he should address the speculation, yes, but I don’t think he owes anyone anything.
“He has come in here for a very cheap fee and has scored an unbelievable amount of goals, so I don’t think he owes anybody anything.
“But when you’re adored and the support that Alfredo has got, then I’m sure every fan wants to know where his future lies so I think he should address that. But that’s my own personal opinion.
“If I saw any signs that he wasn’t (as committed as last season) then he wouldn’t be involved on a matchday.
“He trains really hard, he’s smiling about the place. He got an unfortunate niggle at the start of pre-season which set him back a week or two but I think he’s ready to fire.
“He came on last night and almost got us a couple of goals. He had that threat about him.”
Having booked a third qualifying round clash with Danes Midtjylland, Rangers now hope to ignite their title bid with victory in their opening league clash at Rugby Park.
And Gerrard knows his side will be judged on whether they can pick up points from a venue where they twice slipped up last term.
“The media will have an opinion on us based on this opening day and compare it to last season,” he said. “But we just have to focus on all the challenges that come our way.
“In an ideal situation we can get the three points and then I’m sure there will be an over-reaction if you like.
“But if we don’t get a result it’s not the end of the world and we’ll keep fighting to improve.”
Allan McGregor will miss out as a result of suspension, so Wes Foderingham is likely to start in goal.