FIVE years ago today, Rangers signed Alfredo Morelos from HJK Helsinki for a fee believed to be in the region of £1million. 

At that point the Colombian was very much an unknown quantity in the Scottish game, but after having bagged 113 goals in 224 appearances, the deal can now be looked back upon as an impressive piece of transfer business from the Ibrox club. 

His goal tally speaks for itself, but it hasn’t been all plain sailing for the 25-year-old to get to where he is today, as one of the top scoring strikers in Europe. 

Morelos arrived as one of Pedro Caixinha’s first signings as Rangers boss and despite the Portuguese manager having a horror stint in Glasgow, he must be applauded for bringing Morelos to the club. 

His debut came against Progres Niederkorn in the Europa League during the 2017/18 season, and he then bagged his first two goals for Rangers in a League Cup clash against Dunfermline. 

Morelos settled well to life in Glasgow and by the end of that campaign, he was joint top goalscorer at the club with teammate Josh Windass, and he was just pipped to the league’s top scorer award by Kilmarnock’s Kris Boyd. 

It was an impressive first season for Morelos, but after hitting the ground running, discipline issues then crept into his game after Steven Gerrard took charge in 2018/19. 

A red card on the opening day of the season against Aberdeen was the first of five that campaign, and the dismissals resulted in a mixed relationship with his manager. 

Gerrard firstly stated how he aimed to channel Morelos’ nasty streak in a positive manner that could help his overall game, while also eradicating his dismissals at the same time. 

The advice from his gaffer did not appear to sink in though as Morelos was then sent off against Celtic for a clash with Scott Brown and Rangers ended up losing the match 2-1. 

Gerrard fumed after the fixture and stated that Morelos’ antics were now indefensible. This comment appeared to have more of an impact on the hitman going forward. 

Another suspension would follow, but despite a lengthy period out on the sidelines due to his ill-discipline, Morelos finished top scorer in the division, scoring his 100th competitive club goal along the way. 

His goalscoring form has always resulted in transfer speculation and offers have arrived from clubs both in Europe and beyond.  

After the success of 2018/19 season, Chinese super league outfit Hebei China Fortune tabled a contract offer worth £30million for Morelos’ services, but the Colombian international turned the deal down. 

Seven goals in his opening seven matches of the season would follow and his European form was hugely impressive, so much so that he became the first Rangers player to score in four consecutive matches in European competition. 

Gerrard praised his striker during this time and highlighted how his discipline had improved. It was a case of speaking to soon though, as Morelos was then sent off against Motherwell before being ordered off for diving during a win against Celtic at Parkhead in December. 

The summer of 2020/21 brought yet more transfer talk, this time involving French outfit Lille. A reported £16million was offered for Morelos’ services, but the deal was not accepted. 

Further goals in the Europa League followed and after scoring against Benfica at the Estadio da Luz, Morelos surpassed Ally McCoist as Rangers’ top European goal scorer as he netted his 22nd strike. 

Celtic fans often lapped up the fact that Morelos had not netted against their team up until this point, but the striker put that record straight when he bagged a goal at Parkhead in March 2021 during a 1-1 draw. 

Another goal in a 4-1 rout of their rivals would follow in May as Rangers romped to the Premiership title and secured their first top-tier crown in ten years. 

It was the first trophy for Morelos during his time in Govan and he ended the campaign with 17 goals in 44 appearances in all competitions. 

During the 55 season, the striker was so impressive and his overall striking play improved over the course of the year. 

Morelos’ ability to link play and get his team up the pitch was vitally important to how Gerrard wanted to play, and the team suffered when he was not involved.   

Porto were the next club to be interested at the beginning of last season, but Rangers once again knocked back an offer. 

It was another impressive campaign for the Ibrox frontman, and despite missing the tail end of the campaign with a thigh injury, he finished the club’s joint top scorer with captain James Tavernier. 

Morelos became the first Rangers player to score 100 goals in over five years and also became the 18th post-war player to do so, with Kenny Miller being the last player to achieve this in 2016. 

A change in manager from Gerrard to Giovanni van Bronckhorst did not appear to impact Morelos and again Europe was where his best football was played.  

It was a cruel end to the campaign as he missed out on the semi-final and final of the Europa League as well as being absent from the Scottish Cup final success over Hearts. 

Rangers missed their star man dearly in the final months of the season and they had to adapt their game without him. This just proved how important he is to this team. 

Another summer now awaits, and transfer interest is already being discussed. Reports have suggested that Sevilla are tracking Morelos and he has continually said he would like to test himself in one of Europe’s top leagues. 

With his contract running out next year, this window appears to be the final chance for Rangers to cash in on their man, unless they can somehow persuade him to pen a new contract. 

Uncertainty surrounds his future, but whatever happens, the Colombian has given Ibrox fans some special memories over the course of his five years in Scotland.