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…
BBC journalist Tom English believes Steven Gerrard may be tempted to opt for Jermain Defoe over Alfredo Morelos in big games this season.
Speaking after Rangers had just trounced Hibs 6-1, the journalist was unable to split Morelos and Defoe.
The Englishman scored a hat-trick before being replaced by the Colombian, who then scored twice himself in his short involvement in the rout.
Morelos has scored seven times and set up another two in his seven appearances so far this season, while Defoe has notched five in six outings, and it’s become quite the tussle over who will be first choice, says English.
He said: “The Colombian has not exactly started slowly this term either having netted seven so far, including two off the bench at the weekend, but Jermain Defoe’s scintillating hat-trick in the hammering of Hibernian certainly gives manager Steven Gerrard food for thought. It will be interesting to see, though, who gets the nod in the bigger games.”
In Defoe, Gerrard can call upon a striker with great experience and someone who won’t trouble referees nearly as much as his colleague Morelos, and the Englishman’s red-hot form this season is perhaps a sign he wants to be more than just the back-up.
However, back-up is exactly how he should stay.
If he were to be first-choice this season then he’d have to be replicating Morelos’ impressive stats from last term. This would be difficult at 36. Even as someone who clearly takes his health seriously, breaching 41 goal involvements when you’re closer to 40 than 30 will be an awfully mean feat.
Also, with Morelos posting similar numbers to him so far this year it’s not as if we can claim one boasts far superior form to the other.
Gerrard has hinted that he wants to keep the former Spurs man beyond this season, but at the end of the day, he’s still a 36 year-old loanee with no sell-on value.
Compare this to Morelos, who was only missing one thing from his game last season – goals in the biggest games. If the Colombian can add these to his repertoire, the club may well bank a huge profit for his services in the future, something that simply cannot be said for Defoe.
It’s not exactly a bad headache for the gaffer to have, boasting two lethal goalscorers when plenty of clubs are crying out for just one, but Morelos should stay as the main man.