Rangers boss Giovanni van Bronckhorst admits it’s not ideal that Alfredo Morelos won’t be available to face Celtic after the player has impressed when playing for the Dutchman.
The Ibrox club has already lost Joe Aribo to Nigeria’s Africa Cup of Nations squad for key games but Morelos’ call-up to the Colombia squad means he’ll also miss the top-of-the-table showdown at Celtic Park on February 2.
Morelos was named as Premiership player of the month for December after scoring four times last month and Van Bronckhorst feels he’s found his groove.
“He’s been in really good form, especially in the last month for me since I came in,” the Rangers manager said. “I think he had a great development in every aspect of the game so I’m really happy for him, and also for Rangers, that he’s in a good momentum.
“You see when he’s playing well that he’ll get called up for the Colombian national team so he won’t be with us for the coming weeks and he tries to qualify for Qatar at the end of the year.”
Van Bronckhorst earned 106 international caps for Netherlands during his career and appreciates the importance of playing for your country. He is pleased for Morelos after his Colombia call and said that while it was difficult for clubs to have to deal with the absence of key players, it also puts the individuals in a difficult situation.
“Obviously you want to have your full squad for every game,” he said. “In this moment we will be missing Joe Aribo and Alfredo Morelos.
“That’s not what you want but it’s the way it is. If you have international games during the league it always gives you a difficult situation, not only for me and the club but also for the players because they’re stuck between playing for their country and for the club.
“I know what the club means for Joe and for Alfredo but as a (former) international player I also know what it is to be successful for your national team.
“It’s a battle you can’t win as a player.”