Alfredo Morelos, Ryan Kent's Rangers futures discussed - Sky Sports Scottish Football Podcast

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Scottish Football Podcast

Ian Crocker is joined by Kris Boyd and Andy Walker to discuss the futures of Alfredo Morelos and Ryan Kent, Hibernian's excellent start to the season, where Celtic should strengthen and who Scotland should select for their Nations League clashes with Israel and the Czech Republic.

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Hibernian continue fast start

preview image 2:49
Highlights of the Scottish Premiership match between St Johnstone and Hibernian.

It has a fine start to the season for Hibs, with Jack Ross's side level on points with Rangers following their dramatic late victory at St Johnstone.

The Edinburgh club have only conceded from a free-kick and a penalty in their first five fixtures.

Sky Sports' Andy Walker:

"I really like the way they've started the new season - it's been really impressive. A lot has been said about their back four of McGinn, Porteous, Hanlon and Doig but I think the player that just gives them little bit more protection is Gogic in front of them.

"They've taken advantage of the fixtures having not come up against Celtic or Rangers yet, but I think when you're coming up against the likes of Kilmarnock, Dundee United, Livingston, St Johnstone, they've shown that they're more than capable of getting a good run together and being consistent.

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"I think they're looking to do a bit more with Jack Ross identifying a position where he wants to strengthen when they missed out on signing Ross McCrorie but the ambition is certainly there. The fact that the manager wants to sign more players, I think it's exciting times for Hibs fans at the moment.

"They have started really well, but I wonder if it (their expectations of third place) would change if when they came up against Celtic and Rangers and actually won? I think then you would start to think, 'well hang on a minute, how far can this Hibs team go?'

"Because the only way you gain a bit of confidence is if you go into those games and win them, or remain undefeated. But early days of course."

Live SPFL

Turnbull deserved Celtic move

David Turnbull in action for Motherwell

Sky Sports' Kris Boyd:

"It has been a long time coming for the kid, but what has happened has maybe helped him in the long run because it allowed him to get back to playing first-team football, get his fitness levels up.

"But while he would no doubt have been looked after at Celtic, he would maybe have become one of those kids who moved to the Old Firm at an early age, but got lost because of the injury and you come back and other people have overtook you.

"So it is vital that he has been able to recover from his injury at Motherwell, get himself back in the first team and there is no doubt he is a talented footballer, you can see that, he can score goals.

"Will he bring something to Celtic? Of course he will. A 21-year-old, so the future is bright for him. But for me personally, what happened with his scan has helped him as it has allowed him to get back playing first-team football and get back up to speed and for the last couple of years without his injury he has deserved his move because on the pitch, he has shown what a talented footballer he is."

Centre of defence is where Celtic must strengthen

DUNDEE, SCOTLAND - AUGUST 22: Celtic's Albian Ajeti celebrates with teammates after scoring to make it 1-0 during  the Scottish Premiership match between Dundee Utd  and Celtic at Tannadice,  on August 22, 2020, in Dundee, Scotland. (Photo by Craig Foy / SNS Group) 2:12
Highlights of the Scottish Premiership match between Dundee United and Celtic.

Sky Sports' Andy Walker:

"They do not want to take any chances and when you realise the problem they had with Boli Bolingoli - I doubt he will ever play in a Celtic jersey again, so they are a bit light at left back and that is the reason they tried to go back in for Aaron Hickey, who looked like he was going to go abroad to either Bologna or Bayern Munich, but who is one of those players in Scotland who has shown over the last number of years to have had huge potential.

"And that is the key area for Celtic to strengthen, defensively. If they get Hickey in, he is the type of player who could challenge Greg Taylor, or come in and play his part or look out of place.

Odsonne Edouard was ruled out for Celtic's defeat against Ferencvaros 0:37
Odsonne Edouard may become a more realistic target for some Premier League clubs following Celtic's Champions League exit, says Andy Walker.

"The centre of defence is where Celtic really need to strengthen. It is all very well dropping Kristoffer Ajer and bringing Nir Bitton in to play alongside Christopher Jullien, but you do need someone with a bit more bite and strength, maybe someone who is a bit more reliable and I think Shane Duffy ticks all the boxes.

"So I would be surprised if we get to the end of the transfer window and Celtic have not signed at least one player can compete in the centre of that defence."

The sooner Morelos is out the building, the better

Alfredo Morelos 0:28
Alfredo Morelos' future at Rangers remains unclear after he was left out of the squad to play Kilmarnock.

Sky Sports' Kris Boyd:

"It is one of those things that is really starting to annoy me now. We have said for a number of months now that Alfredo Morelos, when he is playing well, he can be a handful.

"But the other side of this is when he is not playing, he can be a hindrance. It was after the Livingston game, there was a little glimpse of it against St Johnstone in the midweek fixture that his attitude coming off the pitch was not good enough and I felt the exact same at Livingston.

"I think his attitude has been disgraceful the last few weeks and for me personally, top players when they get a move work harder, they show their qualities and that has not been the case with Morelos.

"Now that Steven Gerrard has had enough of it. You have to remember that people will turn round and say this has been going on for a while, so why has Gerrard not dealt with it, nothing has changed?

Alfredo Morelos in action for Rangers 2:37
James McFadden says Rangers manager Steven Gerrard was right to drop Alfredo Morelos for the win over Kilmarnock and believes the Colombian has looked 'unfit' and 'unwilling to work' at the start of the new season.

"Well, the simple reason he has not dealt with it is he has nobody else to put in. Now he has people who can replace Morelos with. We have seen that on the weekend with Kemar Roofe's first start and scoring.

"Now he can get him out of the road and if he is not pulling his weight in training, like every other player, if you are not pulling your weight in training, then you should not be anywhere near the first team.

"And I think that is now the case, Gerrard has had enough of him and it is now up to Rangers to go and agree a deal with someone. I know the Lille saga keeps on rolling on, but it is going to have to be dealt with because the sooner Morelos is out the building, the better because he is going to be more of a hindrance now because his attitude over the last few weeks has been nothing short of appalling."

Live SPFL

If Rangers are going to stop Celtic, they cannot lose Kent

Ryan Kent 1:10
Rangers manager Steven Gerrard says Leeds United's opening bid for Ryan Kent was 'way way off' their valuation of the player.

Sky Sports' Kris Boyd:

"Morelos needs to go because if Rangers need to sell somebody, as we are all led to believe, they cannot lose Ryan Kent. If they have an aspirations about winning a league title, they cannot lose him.

"He is their best player, you can have the best striker in the world, but if you do not have anybody to create opportunities for him and make things happen in the final third, it does not matter who is through the middle.

Kemar Roofe celebrates after scoring to make it 1-0 against Kilmarnock 1:56
Highlights of the Scottish Premiership match between Rangers and Kilmarnock.

"For me, they need to keep a hold of him no matter what and if that means you have to take a lower price for Morelos to get him out the door, that is what you need to do.

"But Rangers as a football club, if they are going to stop Celtic, they cannot lose Kent."

Scotland need their best players in the starting line-up

Sky Sports' Kris Boyd:

"It is a difficult one for Steve Clarke, like for all international managers, but when you look at the squad, we are strong in some areas and not in others.The goalkeeping situation is going to be interesting.

"But the big one for me is we need to find a way of getting Kieran Tierney and Andy Robertson into the starting line-up and go from there as there is no doubt they are two of our better players. And with a country the size of ours, we need to get our best players in the starting line-up if we are going to get anywhere."

Tierney in a back three with Robertson as wing back the best option

Kieran Tierney in action for Scotland during the recent friendly against Belgium

Sky Sports' Andy Walker:

"The best thing to do is to get Tierney in the team, clearly he is pretty comfortable in a back three at Arsenal and he is enjoying the challenge of being a recognised Premier League player and actually excelling.

"And I think his game will actually come on even more, so I would be more than happy for him to play in a back three, with Robertson as a wing back.

"But you have to remember Scotland are pretty much a defensive side, our strength is in defence and we need to get our best defenders in. Now we know that Robertson likes to attack, he knows how to defend and if we do not give much away - Scotland are not the sort of team in the last few years who have gone and battered teams three, four, or five - we need to be organised and disciplined.

"And I think Tierney in a back three with Robertson as a wing back, and more often than not against the good teams you are playing in a back five, and Robertson is capable of that, but that is the way I would look at it.

"But we could do without any injuries before we take on these important games."

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