For better and worse, Alfredo Morelos is the Scottish Premiership’s most compelling individual spectacle, all the more remarkably so since he has never made a public utterance since joining Rangers from HJK Helsinki in June 2017.
The 22-year-old South American is the division’s top scorer with 15 goals and his club’s most efficient marksman, as witnessed by 23 goals in all competitions this season.
Morelos also has a disciplinary record which casts him as an inveterate recidivist. In 38 club appearances in the current campaign he has been cautioned on 15 occasions and has been given his Colombian marching orders on four occasions – three of them against Aberdeen and two of them for offences against Scott McKenna, although the first red card, administered during a 1-1 draw at Pittodrie in August was rescinded on appeal.
The latest occurred in Rangers’ 4-2 win at Pittodrie on Wednesday, when a wrestling match between Morelos and McKenna ended with the latter spread-eagled on the ground, at which point the Rangers player’s studs appeared to be planted between the defender’s raised legs. McKenna retaliated with a boot to Morelos’ head and the pair were duly dismissed by Bobby Madden.
Rangers appealed the decision but their plea was thrown out on Friday night and Morelos will miss Saturday evening’s Scottish Cup fifth-round tie against Kilmarnock at Rugby Park. An accumulation of penalty points means that he is also banned for Rangers’ next two league games, at home to St Johnstone and away to Hamilton but, should the Kilmarnock tie go to a replay, he will be eligible for selection.