Alfredo Morelos is a 22-year-old Colombian striker who started his career at Independiente Medellín. He moved to Finnish club HJK in 2016, and so began his European career. In 2017 he moved to the Glasgow Rangers for about €1 million. Last season was very successful for him. In 31 league appearances for Rangers, he scored 14 goals and recorded six assists. He was second on the top scorers’ list.
This season, he has scored 20 goals and registered 10 assists in 34 appearances in all competitions. Currently, he is top goalscorer in the Scottish Premiership with 12. He is a versatile striker; of those, seven have come with his right foot, three with his left and two with his head. Two came from set-pieces.
Morelos is a regular first-team player. He has started 33 games and come off the bench once. The only match he missed was through suspension. He had a slow start in the Premiership, scoring only twice in his first seven matches. After that though, he found form.
Under Steven Gerrard, Rangers play in a 4-3-3 formation. He always a plays centre-forward. In the image above, we can see that he usually plays on the right wing. Morelos often plays on the left wing too. That speaks in support of his mobility.
Morelos scores 0.55 goals and records 0.13 assists per match in all competitions. He has great pace and acceleration. Gerrard’s Rangers play with a lot of movement and rotation in attack which allows him to move all over the pitch.
In the image above we can see his dribbling skill. As I said, he loves to dribble. He plays with both feet and is unpredictable, using his speed to great effect. He waits for his opponent to come close and then knocks the ball past them. He is also a robust striker and that allows him to win duels more easily.
He loves to play on the right side of the pitch. In the image above we can see his position with the ball on the right. Morelos was the hero on this occasion, scoring twice in the second half.
This is also an interesting situation. Rangers’ right-back is on the touchline and is crossing. Morelos stays in the right half-space.
In the image above we can see the situation before a goal. He uses his pace and runs with the ball down the right flank. After that he assists his teammate. This also allows him to play in wing positions. He likes to draw himself to the side of pitch, especially on the right. This, combined with his pace and ambidextrous playing style, could make him a good winger.
In the image above we can see the next situation. Morelos dribbles past two players and shoots, although he could try to assist. He is not a selfish player though since he has already recorded 10 assists this season. When his teammates have a good position he passes the ball to them. He is a real attacker and has self-confidence. He loves to shoot from all positions.
Morelos is not tall attacker at 1.77m. Despite that, he is often a target from set pieces. In the images below we can see a situation against Motherwell. He possesses great anticipation and positioning.
As the cross is sent in, he is standing between two players at the near post. With great anticipation and movement, however, he frees himself and creates his own space to score.
In the image above we see the moment when he finishes.
His defensive play is something that needs to be improved. He has recorded 4.57 defensive duels per match but won only 11.4% of them. His stature makes him inferior in aerial duels. He has recorded 6.98 aerial duels per match but won only a quarter of them. He loses the ball very often – 12.36 times per match – but only 12.8% of those in own half.
He is an aggressive player. In the image below we can see how he presses defender. He wins possession and assists his teammate. After joining Rangers, manager Steven Gerrard said:
“I think it is difficult to put it in a couple of sentences but we will be aggressive.”
The whole team is aggressive and they press high to win the ball. In defence, Rangers play in a 4-1-4-1 formation. Morelos has the task of pressing the player with the ball.
In the image above we can see how Morelos presses. The left centre-back has the ball. Morelos waits for him to pass the ball to his defensive partner before pressing him. His cover cuts out the defensive midfielder as an option.
In the image above we have the same situation. He presses the player with the ball and uses his cover shadow to negate the closest player. In this situation, he wins the ball scores afterwards.
Under Gerrard, Rangers play aggressively. That sometimes leads Morelos into problems. He has picked up 10 yellow cards in all competition this season and has been sent off three times. He earned one direct red card against Aberdeen after catching the player on the ball after 12 minutes.
He has recorded 21.37 passes per game, 78% of them accurately. The most common of his passes were back passes (5.44 per game). He is not successful with through passes, however, recording 0.45 per game, with only 13.3% successful.
Morelos is not a selfish player. He has recorded six assists in 19 league appearances. In the image above we can see his great vision.
In the image above he passes the ball to his teammate. It was a clear situation and he could have shot, but he didn’t.
Alfredo Morelos has a bright future ahead of him. He has spent two successful seasons at Rangers: in 77 appearances he has racked up 38 goals and 18 assists. He also can play as a winger, as he possesses great pace and he is also good dribbler. He has to fix his defensive game, but in the summer he’ll be a transfer target for many European clubs.
If you love tactical analysis, then you’ll love the digital magazines from totalfootballanalysis.com – a guaranteed 100+ pages of pure tactical analysis covering topics from the Premier League, Serie A, La Liga, Bundesliga and many, many more. Get your copy of the FIRST of two December issues for just ₤4.99 here, or the SECOND of the December issues with an annual membership right here.