Even those in charge of bringing Alfredo Morelos to Rangers in 2017 would perhaps not have predicted the impact he would have at Ibrox, but Ross Wilson may be thinking he can repeat that masterclass this summer by signing HJK Helsinki striker Kai Meriluoto.
According to reports from Finland, Rangers are interested in signing the 19-year-old forward and could make a move for him during the transfer window.
Football Scotland claim that the highly-rated teenager is attracting a lot of interest from other clubs as a result of his impressive form so far this season, while the report from Finland describes him as a “sharp moving and straightforward goal scorer.”
While fellow striker Antonio Colak is set to seal his move to Ibrox in the coming days, Meriluoto would perhaps be a signing for the future and could even replace Morelos in the future, should the Colombian complete a rumoured transfer away this summer.
Since signing for Rangers five years ago, Morelos has gone on to make 224 appearances for the Teddy Bears, in which he has contributed an impressive 113 goals and 51 assists.
‘El Bufalo’ also became Rangers’ all-time top scorer in Europe, smashing Ally McCoist’s long-standing record, which emphasises just how impressive a signing he was.
After an incredible performance against Porto in the Europa League in 2019, former manager Steven Gerrard was full of praise for Morelos, saying:
“Buff’s composure and finish was world-class. I think tonight you see the importance he is to me, to Rangers.
“It’s the reason why there’s so much fuss and so much talk about Alfredo and why he’s linked with so many teams – because he’s an outstanding footballer.”
While there is no guarantee that Meriluoto’s career with Rangers would follow the same trajectory, his form in Finland certainly suggests that he knows where the back of the net is.
The teenage striker was prolific in HJK Helsinki’s reserve side, hitting 31 goals in 56 appearances, while he also popped up with one goal in three appearances for the senior side.
He was sent out on loan to fellow Finnish side Ilves Tampere for the 2022 season and has hit an impressive eight goals in 15 appearances thus far, so it is easy to see why he is attracting interest from abroad.
If Wilson can bring him to Ibrox this summer, then it may well prove to be a repeat of the inspired signing of Morelos in 2017.