WHEN Alfredo Morelos arrived at Rangers two years ago, few supporters had an idea of his play or his potential. One former Ibrox hero knew all about him, though.

If Michael Mols had his way, it would have been to Utrecht that Morelos moved when he left HJK Helsinki. In joining Rangers, he did the next best thing as far as the 48-year-old is concerned.

Mols became aware of Morelos’ talent during his time in Finland and was keen to put a deal together that would have seen him move to the club where the Dutchman spent time either side of his memorable five-year stint in Light Blue.

The £1million fee that was required proved too much for Utrecht, but it will become something of a bargain when Morelos moves on as Rangers look to sell him for up to 20 times their initial investment.

Only time will tell how long Rangers are able to retain the services of the striker that has scored 29 times this term and been an integral part of Steven Gerrard’s side domestically and on the continent.

But Mols is certain that the young Colombian he watched and admired from afar will go on to bigger and better things during the next stage of his career.

“I’m working as a scout for Utrecht and Alfredo Morelos was in our sights a couple of years ago but we couldn’t afford the fee,” he said.

“The money Rangers got him for now looks like a bargain when you see the crazy transfer fees.

“He was very dangerous in the box and I compare him to Luis Suarez. They are both from South America and you can see the similarities in his temperament and character which shines through in his game.

“It can help him a lot but it can also hinder him. Luis Suarez has done some stupid things like biting and while Alfredo Morelos hasn’t done anything like that you can see he has a habit of doing little things that can cost points.

“He has obviously been sent off but he has an over-my-dead-body attitude. He will learn and you can see now with Suarez that he doesn’t do stupid things.

“Alfredo Morelos is still young and talented so he has still to improve and if he can get his temperament under control or use it in a good way then he can make the next step.”

There are few reasons for the Ibrox crowd to remember the Pedro Caixinha era with any fondness, but Morelos is the silver lining in the dark clouds from the Portuguese’s disastrous reign.

His detractors readily point to the perceived issues around his temperament and disciplinary record, but the positives far outweigh the negatives with a 22-year-old that has had a remarkable rise and rise from his humble beginnings at Independiente Medellin.

There were no guarantees that Morelos would have the kind of impact that he has when Caixinha brought him to Ibrox following a recommendation from Jonathan Johansson. Rangers’ gamble has more than paid off, however.

“We followed him through footage when he was in Finland but we couldn’t afford him,” Mols said.

“The manager at the time has since gone to Ajax but I never discussed it with him, only the chief scout who then spoke to the director of football and probably the head coach.

“When he signed for Rangers it was quite funny, knowing we’d watched him. We had also asked Jari Litmanen for his opinion because he lived in Finland.

“I was curious when he signed for Rangers because the league in Finland isn’t as strong and we had doubts about whether he could do it at a higher level but he has proved himself in Scotland.

“It’s hard to say how far he can go but natural goal scorers are hard to find and you can see the difference when he plays for Rangers and when he doesn’t.

“He has the desire to score goals, that hunger and determination to win. That is the characteristics you need for a striker and if he can continue to progress and develop then you never know how far he can go.”

If his second season in Light Blue does prove to be his final one, then Morelos only has two more chances to tick a box that remains unchecked at present.

The striker has yet to score in an Old Firm derby and he will be tasked with leading the line for Gerrard’s side at Parkhead on Sunday for the third meeting with Celtic this term.

With the gap in the Premiership now standing at ten points, victory would earn Rangers temporary bragging rights rather than spark a late title challenge.

But Mols is well aware of how important an occasion it is for Gerrard’s side and knows a derby goal would be another positive addition to Morelos’ record.

He said: “He will leave Glasgow for sure in the summer - but hopefully only for a holiday!

“He has extended his contract but every club wants a natural goal scorer so he will be watched but time will tell if they are convinced

“The Old Firm derby is important to the fans but in terms of Alfredo scoring in the derby it will only put more pressure on him if he thinks too much about the fact he hasn’t done it yet.

“It’s a team effort. Of course, the fans always want you to score against Celtic but the most important thing is to win and he has already proved he can score goals and hopefully he can do it at Parkhead but if not then just get the three points.”