This article is part of Football FanCast’s Pundit View series, which provides opinion and analysis on recent quotes from journalists, pundits, players and managers…
Speaking exclusively to Football FanCast, former Rangers midfielder Gavin Rae has given his verdict on the speculation surrounding the futures of James Tavernier and Alfredo Morelos.
Both club captain Tavernier and top scorer Morelos have been linked with moves away from Ibrox this summer.
Football Insider claim as many as ten clubs are interested in the goal-scoring defender’s services. Similarly, the Colombian has been a man in-demand this summer, with Hebei China Fortune the latest club to register an interest in the 30-goal striker, according to Sky Sports.
The ex-Ger was emphatic in his statements on the important duo: “I think you have to keep him [Morelos] unless you have someone else to replicate his goals – yes he had his discipline problems last season but he scores goals for fun and it is difficult to buy someone to do that in the market.
“I would definitely keep him [Tavernier], he is an integral part of the team, scoring and assisting so many goals last season – also being captain he is someone Gerrard trusts so he would be tough to replace.”
Rae is right on both the full-back and the striker – the two must be held onto this summer, and are perhaps the most pivotal players in the entire squad.
Moreover, the defender was an integral part of the Rangers side last year, producing a phenomenal return from right-back. The ex-Newcastle youngster scored 17 times and assisted a further 20 in his 57 appearances for Gerrard last term. That’s a return that the majority of attacking players in Scotland would struggle to replicate, let alone a full-back.
One player in Scotland who did match that return was Morelos, scoring 30 times and setting up 11 in his 48 outings in a Light Blue jersey.
The sheer amount of goals didn’t happen by accident though, as Gerrard’s 4-3-3 formation means the lone striker has an enormous responsibility, and the 23-year-old duly repaid his manager’s faith and scored a bucket-load. Therefore, being forced to scramble about for an adequate replacement would be nigh on impossible.
That’s a whopping 78 goal contributions for Gerrard and director of football Mark Allen to replace if they were to cash-in on their star duo. While the money would likely be good, Rae’s verdict is spot on – what those two bring to the club would take a lot more than cash to replace.