Rangers cannot afford to lose Alfredo Morelos

Rangers and Celtic both eased their way into the Betfred Cup quarter-finals with wins over Kilmarnock and Partick Thistle respectively.

Here are five other things we learned from the second-round action.

1. Alfredo Morelos’s price tag keeps on rising after Rugby Park treble

Rangers’ Colombian striker was the subject of a £3.75million bid for French outfit Bordeaux this week – an offer dubbed ‘derisory’ by boss Steven Gerrard. Gerrard warned before Sunday’s trip to Rugby Park it could take up to three times the fee submitted by the Ligue 1 side if they want to prise Morelos away from Ibrox but the asking price will have risen again after the 22-year-old smashed his first Gers hat-trick in the 3-1 win over Killie. If Gerrard’s team are to challenge for honours this season, then they cannot afford to lose their top-scorer.

2. Dedryck Boyata could have a Celtic future

Celtic’s Dedryck Boyata could return to Brendan Rodgers' squad this week
Celtic’s Dedryck Boyata could return to Brendan Rodgers’ squad this week (Andrew Milligan/PA)

Hoops manager Brendan Rodgers opened the door on the Belgium defender “redeeming himself” and returning to the team next week after claiming he had effectively refused to play in their Champions League qualifier against AEK Athens, although Boyata earlier insisted he was not fully fit. Boyata was again missing from Celtic’s 3-1 cup win over Thistle but Rodgers said: “Dedryck is still a Celtic player and I want to have him involved. I know he is a good guy.”

3. Dundee need improvement fast

Neil McCann’s side suffered a 3-0 home defeat by Ayr to exit the Betfred Cup and it was their second reverse at Dens Park in the competition following a setback against Dunfermline in the group stages. The Dee have also lost their opening two Premiership games and face a major test against St Johnstone in a Tayside derby in Perth next weekend.

4. St Mirren need to make progress

The Buddies suffered another disappointing day in Aberdeen as a 4-0 defeat sent them out of the cup and gave them a harsh lesson in the realities of facing top-flight teams. Saints lost 4-1 at Pittodrie in the Scottish Cup in January before going on to clinch the Championship title and were confident of showing they had learned their lessons, but manager Alan Stubbs admitted they contributed to their own downfall.

5. Tony Watt and St Johnstone are a perfect match

Watt’s career path has not taken the trajectory most people expected after he scored a Champions League winner against Barcelona in 2012 but the 24-year-old has so far made the most of life at his latest club. The former Celtic forward took his St Johnstone tally to five with a double in the 4-2 win over Queen of the South. Saints boss Tommy Wright said: “I think we’re fortunate to have him, I think he’s also fortunate to have us and at the minute it’s working really well for him.”

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Football Paradise Staff Reporter

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