Rangers striker Alfredo Morelos received his third red card – all against Aberdeen – of the season in his side’s 4-2 victory on Wednesday night, and his imminent absence from the starting XI gives January addition Jermain Defoe the real break he has been waiting for.
The 36-year-old would have been hoping to be a starter for the Glasgow giants following his loan move from Bournemouth last month, and it looked as though that could be on the cards when he started alongside Morelos up top in the 2-1 defeat to Kilmarnock.
Manager Steven Gerrard had moved away from his preferred 4-2-3-1 and 4-3-3 systems to accommodate the striker in a 4-4-2 diamond, but it backfired in the end in what was a disappointing display.
Defoe has been named on the substitutes’ bench against Livingston and then Aberdeen last night since then, although he was given the centre-forward berth against St Mirren at the weekend with his Colombian teammate starting on the right wing.
It remains to be seen how long Morelos will be banned for this time around, but it is certainly the break Defoe would have been desperate for.
The veteran striker will know that he can get goals at this level – he already has three in four SPFL appearances – and he could be set for a run in the starting XI for the foreseeable future depending on what fate awaits the South American attacker.
It certainly eradicates a major selection headache for Gerrard even if he would clearly prefer to have both players available, and now Defoe needs to step up to the plate to keep Rangers in the title race.
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