THE negative aspects of Alfredo Morelos’ play and personality are well versed. For Steven Gerrard and the Ibrox crowd, they are far outweighed by the positives.

Neil McCann is in that same camp as the Rangers manager. He doesn’t just see Morelos as an integral part of the Light Blues’ attack, he reckons he is the best striker in the country.

Morelos took his tally for the campaign to 28 on Wednesday night against Dundee and every performance and every goal only increases his value.

Right now, though, he is priceless for Rangers.

“I know Morelos has had loads of issues in dealing with red and yellow cards,” McCann said. “I see him getting involved in some games and I don’t understand why he gets involved. There is just something in there that stokes the furnace and gets him firing. Sometimes he doesn’t look happy when scoring, he just looks as angry. But without doubt, for me, he is the best striker in the country. He offers everything.

“I would love to have someone like that in my team. Not just the goals, even though 28 is a quite incredible return given he has missed a number of games. It is his all-round play. He is a proper No.9. He can hold it up, run the channel and is very good in the air despite not being that big. He wouldn’t be much bigger than me but he is powerful. And he loves a fight.

“Centre-backs don’t like a fight. They want to be the ones bullying people. Defenders can almost get caught up with Morelos’ power. So they think about the fight first and all of a sudden he is off down the side of them or dipping off – and bang.

“You look at the goal he scored against Dundee the other night. He has scored a couple like that.

“Defenders are thinking about going toe-to-toe with him. So they are watching him, ready for the physicality, and his movement makes the difference instead. That’s the most dangerous kind of striker.

“They have different attributes. I really like him. Whether he can quell that fire inside him, I don’t know.”

Morelos’ detractors will continually point to his disciplinary record but it is his scoring form that deserves the most attention this term.

Boss Gerrard has repeatedly defended Morelos when the red mist has descended this season and McCann reckons any potential suitors won’t be put off by the Colombian’s odd moments of madness.

“There are a few of us who have that edge,” he said. “I heard Neil Lennon being asked the other day if he had calmed or mellowed. But I watched him the other night and it’s still burning in there. Some people are just built like that. I would be a hypocrite to say too much because I am a wee bit fiery as well.

“It’s hard. It’s either in your DNA or not. I don’t think you can manufacture that temperament. If he’s to go to the very top he has to channel it better. At such a young age he has so much potential.

“But clubs and managers will look at him and say, ‘I’ll deal with him’.

“Huge managers have felt they can deal with players on the edge and sort them out - you think of Balotelli - and it hasn’t worked out. But I would love to have Morelos in my team.”

The importance of Morelos to Gerrard’s side cannot be understated, and not just because of his scoring abilities that have now put him within touching distance of the 30-goal barrier this term.

The 22-year-old is the focal point of the Rangers attack, with his work rate and physicality key components of how Rangers operate.

He has had support from the wide areas in the shape of Daniel Candeias and Ryan Kent and Rangers shouldn’t be short of firepower in the closing weeks of the campaign.

McCann said: “I think Candeias is a success story, I like his work rate and he has the attributes to survive in Scottish football.

“He can deal with the physicality, he puts himself around and as a wide player you have to work. That is a given. There are not many wide players that get away with that.

“The way Rangers are operating now, there is a real understanding, especially with Morelos. Kent on the other side has been a fantastic signing and he has grown as well.

“You see certain things in his game that only comes from confidence so they have got some weaponry up top with those three, and then (Jermain) Defoe, (Kyle) Lafferty, (Steven) Davis, (Scott) Arfield. I think things are going well for them on the pitch.”

It was at Pittdorie last month where Morelos showed the good and the bad once again. His two goals helped Rangers overcome Aberdeen, before his red card kept him sidelined for the next three matches.

The Gers will make the trip north for the final time this term on Sunday but it is a Scottish Cup semi-final berth rather than Premiership points that is at stake on this occasion.

It could be another powderkeg encounter. It is one McCann can’t wait to see unfold after a series of headline-grabbing battles between the teams this season.

He said: “I wouldn’t think this one will be any different. It’s interesting that Aberdeen have found it tough in their last couple at home – with St Mirren and then obviously the Hamilton result was a bit of shock.

“I didn’t know the exact history of why these games were so fierce so I thought it was a bit of a manufactured derby. But it lives up to the term “derby” because it is fierce. Both sets of fans have a genuine dislike for each other and that creates a great atmosphere inside the stadium.

“I covered the last one – the 4-2 at Pittodrie – and felt Aberdeen were the better side in the second half. Rangers were better in the first half. There wasn’t much between them and of course the sendings off had a big impact on how they game went.

“It is still quite a bit off the Old Firm. I played in Edinburgh derbies and Dundee derbies that are up there.

“But this fixture does have the feel of a big game, a derby.”

*Neil McCann was speaking at a William Hill media conference. William Hill is the proud sponsor of the Scottish Cup