JONATAN JOHANSSON is looking forward to working with Rangers’ new signing Alfredo Morelos having been impressed by the striker’s goalscoring exploits with Finnish side HJK Helsinki.
JJ keeps a close eye on football in his homeland and, having scored 30 goals in 43 appearances last season, 20-year-old Morelos was always going to grab his attention.
The powerful Colombian certainly made the most of his move to HJK from Independiente Medellín in February 2016 and Johansson believes he has the physical and mental strength to adapt to life at Ibrox.
Speaking to RangersTV, the club’s first-team coach said: “He’s a very young, exciting player. He can play all the forward positions which gives the manager a lot of options.
“I think he compliments the other players we have and who are coming in very well.
His obvious big strength is his goalscoring. I hope the Rangers fans will see that with good finishing from his right foot, left foot, he can head the ball and he is good at finding spaces in the box.
“He can shoot from distance with both feet as well, he’s deceivingly quick, he’s got big legs, big strong thighs, and his first 10 to 15 yards are very explosive.
“He’s physical in the box and he can hold the ball up and turn people, so I think he’s an exciting young prospect.”
When asked which part the Morelos’ play first caught his eye, Johansson answered: “I think his goalscoring. You look at people playing up front and the main thing is obviously to score goals.
“You start looking at, how does he come into those positions? How does he find them? Is he intelligent with his runs? And then when he gets the chance, how does he finish? How is his technique with his left foot? How is his technique with his right foot? How is his heading and different kind of finishes?
“I felt he ticked all the boxes in that way and then you start looking more in-depth at what we does.
I think his link-up play is good, his overall game obviously needs to develop as he’s still young, and I think coming from Colombia to Finland, it’s a very difficult move and he’s handled it really well and really quickly.
“That gives you confidence to bring him to Scotland because you feel like he is going to settle in quite well.
“I think he needed a new challenge. From his point of view, whether it was Rangers or somewhere else, he needed a new challenge and I think it’s a good next step.
“Obviously he played for the biggest club in Finland but that’s nothing compared to the biggest club in Scotland. He’s going to have the pressure and get all the attention which is something he needs to handle.
“Coming from the Finnish league to the Scottish league, it’s a step up and he needs to improve, but I think he’s got every character and every skill that he can do that.
“I look forward to seeing him this year myself.”