Rangers opinion: Kemar Roofe could be an excellent replacement for Morelos
According to the Daily Star, Rangers have been credited with an interest in Leeds United star Kemar Roofe, with the report claiming that Gers manager Steven Gerrard has identified the 26-year-old as an ideal replacement for Alfredo Morelos.
Morelos finished the 2018-19 season at Ibrox with 30 goals in 48 appearances across all competitions to guide Rangers to a runners-up finish behind arch-rivals Celtic in the Scottish Premiership.
However, the Colombian’s prolific form in front of goal hasn’t gone unnoticed, with the 23-year-old attracting widespread interest from several clubs in the top five leagues of Europe, including Premier League sides Newcastle United, West Ham and Crystal Palace, Bundesliga outfit Eintracht Frankfurt, as well as Italian heavyweights AC Milan. (h/t Daily Star)
Apparently, with Morelos under contract at Ibrox until the summer of 2023, Rangers currently find themselves in a strong negotiating position to play hardball with the potential suitors.
Gerrard is going to have his work cut out in replacing Morelos if he departs. He has netted 52 goals in 93 appearances for Rangers in all competitions, averaging more than one goal every alternate game.
That kind of a strike rate is incredible for any striker in any given league in the world and one does get the feeling that losing Morelos this summer would deal a huge blow to Rangers’ chances of putting up a strong title challenge next term.
However, as the story goes, Rangers have already started to prepare for life without Morelos, with Leeds United frontman Kemar Roofe on the club’s radar.
The 26-year-old has carved out a big reputation for himself at Elland Road since his move from Oxford United in 2016, although the Whites currently face a fight in their attempts to hold onto him, with only a year left on his current deal at West Yorkshire.
Roofe spearheaded Leeds’ promotion surge in the Championship last term with 15 goals and whilst that wasn’t enough to propel Marcelo Bielsa’s side to a first Premier League promotion in 15 years, the versatile forward might earn a coveted move to Rangers this summer.
There are not many who would want to ditch the Championship and embrace the opportunity to play in the Scottish top-flight but the prospect of playing for one of the two big clubs north of the border, coupled with the lure of European football, might be enough to turn Roofe’s head.
Roofe has accumulated 33 goals and 14 assists in 122 appearances for Leeds in all competitions till date and although that doesn’t look like a prolific record on paper, the 26-year-old’s versatility to play out wide on either flank, in a No.10 role, and as an out-and-out forward, should prompt Rangers to make a move for him.
The arrival of Jake Hastie, Greg Stewart, Jordan Jones and Sheyi Ojo have compensated for the departure of Kyle Lafferty, Daniel Candeias and Ryan Kent this summer, leaving Rangers with a strong set of players to challenge for the title.
However, neither of them is as prolific as Morelos and the Gers would definitely have to bring someone in to fill the Colombian’s boots despite the presence of the ageing Jermain Defoe as a decent back-up option.
Apart from his intelligent movement and playmaking abilities, Roofe has proven himself to be a clinical finisher in the Championship and it is a no-brainer that he has the ability to rack up goals for fun in the Scottish top-flight.
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Keeping all the aforementioned factors in mind, Rangers should look to take advantage of Roofe’s unresolved contract situation at Elland Road and he might as well be their best bet to replace Morelos.