Celtic and Rangers’ key strikers have been linked with a move to France for differing fees. Joel Sked looks at how much they should be worth.
His goalscoring record in both Finland and Scotland is admirable with 63 goals in 112 games, having arrived in Europe from Colombia. With little break in the last couple of years he has proven himself capable of adapting to new leagues, new climates and new cultures.
He has a Finnish league title and a cup final goal to his name.
The 22-year-old is a tenacious individual who works excellently as a focal point in attack. His work in linking play improved immeasurably and quickly on moving to Ibrox. When he is on his game it is clear why he has the nickname El Bufalo. There can be no question marks about coping with physical demands.
Morelos is capable of ragdolling defenders, as he did to Maribor’s in Rangers’ recent 3-1 win the Europa League qualifiers and to Celtic’s Dedryck Boyata last season. He uses his strength and body shape to back in and roll defenders, helping open space. Team-mates know they can fire passes into him and he will either hold it in or shift the ball wide quickly.
He is also adept at getting into good scoring positions topping the league chart for touches in the opposition box last season.
However, when he got into those scoring positions he wasn’t the best at actually converting. His point-blank misses at home to Celtic and at Ayr United in the cup will leave long in the memory, while he netted four goals less than what was expected of him going by the expected goals measurement.
There is no doubt he is capable of being a shrewd finisher which suggests the issue is a mental one.
His temperament has understandably been called into question at various times, most recently when kicking out at Scott McKenna after being barged during a 1-1 draw with Aberdeen. He also finds it hard to hide his anger or disappointment if a team-mate has failed to pass to him.
Only one player was offside more last season than the Colombian and that tendency to edge forward was evident against Maribor when he strayed to meet a Daniel Candeias pass.
Having only turned 22 earlier this summer Morelos is a long-term signing. Most improvement surrounds the mental side of the game.
This is where working with a coach or backroom staff to give him the tools to cope with certain in-game situations, especially when it is not going for him. Players at a young age are expected to have already matured and have this steely attitude. It is an expectation which isn’t realistic.
There have been a number of players who play the same position as Morelos, have the same age profile and valued similarly on website Transfermarkt, who have moved for substantial fees this summer.
Two French players, Jean-Philippe Mateta and Jordan Siebatcheu, who have three top tier goals between them, have moved for a combined €19 million.
Ghanaian forward Raphael Dwamena has signed for Spanish side Levante for more than €6 million after nine goals in the Swiss top-flight, having previously starred in the Austrian second tier.
Rangers were right to reject Bordaeux’s opening offer of £3.75 million and should be realistically be holding out for more than €6 million with a clause for a percentage of a future fee.
A bid of €8 million, similar to what Beijing Renhe offered earlier in the year, would be hard to turn down again but he is a key individual.
Morelos is far from the real deal, and has his foibles, but has shown promise and progress since arriving from Colombia that he has the capacity to be value for money and net a larger fee down the line.
• READ MORE: Celtic ‘once again favourites’ to land Jason Denayer
The Frenchman played a key role in Celtic’s back-to-back domestic trebles, scoring 50 goals in 91 appearances since joining from Fulham, including goals in cup finals and the Champions League.
On top of that he hit 15 goals in the Championship as a teenager.
Dembele is the complete striker in that he can play on his own or as part of a partnership. He can run in behind or drop and take the ball to feet. He can be both a target man or a striker who drifts, picks up the ball and runs at defences.
He is a formidable force, powerful and dangerous in the air or on the deck.
In addition, he is the definition of a big game player. Nearly half of his Celtic goals have arrived in such games. Eight goals have been scored in the Champions League or qualifying stages; he has struck in three cup semi-finals and two finals, plus goals against nearest rivals Aberdeen and Rangers.
Dembele was only able to play 30 minutes across Celtic’s Champions League qualifying tie with AEK Athens because of injury problems. Since arriving at Parkhead he has had to contend with a handful of niggles and knocks with thigh and hamstring issues.
He has not faced a prolonged period on the sideline but the reoccurrence of the same problems has not only stunted even further growth in his development as one of the most promising strikers in Europe but they raise question marks over his reliability, especially if a team are thinking of parting with a large fee.
French boss Didier Deschamps namecheked the player as one for the future last year after Dembele was put on standby for a friendly double header. Considering France’s riches in attack that is no mean feat.
The striker has no glaring weaknesses in his game but it is a case of becoming more refined in certain areas especially in the finishing department. He can be devastating at times but has a habit of snatching at shots and scuffing the ball wide across his body.
Add in greater consistency and there is a highly effective forward designed for the top of the game.
French under-21 team-mate Adama Diakhaby left Monaco for Huddersfield Town for £8 million following a mediocre season. Monaco purchased the player on potential after doing well with Rennes but he has only scored eight first team goals.
Yet, perhaps the best comparison is with Aleksandar Mitrovic who Fulham bought for £22 million. The Serb’s time at Anderlecht brought about a similar goal return as Dembele’s has in Scotland.
The duo share similar qualities but Mitrovic struggled in the Premier League, looking more at home in the Championship but has the potential to be an imposing striker.
Marseille are said to be lining up a £13.5 million offer for Dembele. It’s one which Celtic will no doubt reject especially when they spent £9 million on Odsonne Edouard who doesn’t have the credit in the bank Dembele has.
Any initial talk of a £30 million or even £40 million move was outlandish. Yet, Celtic have previous of selling players to England who have been value for money and are not in the position to have to sell.
The Mitrovic fee is skewed slightly due to Premier League prices but Marseille will have to increase any bid to around €20 million.
Is Dembele twice the player Morelos is? In short, no. However, reputation, the selling club and, for strikers, goals play a big part in price - as does the Scottish market.
Dembele has proven himself to be a big game player, domestically and at European level. Morelos has, more often than not, been found wanting in Rangers’ big games.
For Rangers to make a significant leap to close the gap on Celtic, Morelos will have to play a big part in terms of stepping up in those games between the sides.
Dembele has impressed for France Under-21s, has been praised by many, in this country and France, and been linked to some elite clubs.
Celtic are in a better position and have greater evidence to demand a bigger fee.