ALFREDO Morelos’s performance against Aberdeen at Pittodrie last night was his career in microcosm.

He was deadly at times, daft as a brush at others.

Steven Gerrard, the Ibrox manager, is a huge admirer of the striker and little wonder. When he is good, as he very often is, he is a handful.

His inspired first-half display ensured his team romped into a 3-1 lead at half-time - and should really have secured a morale-boosting victory and three important points.

He scored two goals, the second of which he buried beautifully, and had a hand in the visitors’ third by winning the free-kick which led to a penalty that James Tavernier converted.

However, nothing is ever straightforward with the brilliant, but temperamental Colombian striker.

The febrile atmosphere in the stadium once again brought out the ugly side in the forward - he ran to the opposition supporters and cupped his ears after he had bagged his brace and celebrated in front of the home fans after the spot kick.

When he became entangled with Scott McKenna early in the second-half he clearly stamped down on his opponent, earning himself a kick in the face in the process, and received a straight red card for his foolish act of petulance.

It was the fourth time this season he had been ordered off and the third time against Aberdeen. His absence from the pitch cost his side dear even though their rivals had also reduced to 10 men when McKenna walked.

Derek McInnes, the Aberdeen manager, stated after hostilities had ceased that Morelos had been the difference between the two sides during the time he was on the park and he had a definite point.

His men were far better than Gerrard’s charges in the final half an hour and only conceded a fourth goal in injury-time because they had committed players forward in an attempt to snatch a late equaliser.

It was a far more uncomfortable night than it needed to be for Rangers - and summed up the dilemma Gerrard faces with Morelos.

There is no doubting the front man's ability. His double last night took his tally for the 2018/19 campaign to 23 in all competitions. He is comfortably the top scorer in the country.

But he can be as much of a liability for his side as he is an asset to it at times.

Gerrard admitted after the game that the 22-year-old has to learn to channel his aggression properly if he wants to fulfil his massive potential and play at a higher level in future.

The Liverpool and England great would know. He has issues with his discipline early in his own playing days which he successfully overcame. He enjoyed a stellar career for club and country as a result.

But will his errant player ever be able to do the same? It doesn’t seem very likely. He has been spoken to on numerous occasions about keeping a cooler head. His performance on Wednesday evening underlined the words have fallen on deaf ears.

Gerrard stressed he didn’t want to take the physicality out of the player’s game. He, quite rightly, feels he has to be able to stand up to the rough treatment that he receives from defenders. But his antics are often off the ball and completely unprovoked. The Celtic game at the end of last year was a perfect example. He will have to show far greater intelligence and control if he hopes to further his ambitions.

It will be no great surprise if Morelos is sold on during the summer. The South American has publicly admitted he would like to play in the Premier League in England future. If he continues to score with such regularity there will, regardless of his indiscretions, he no shortage of clubs down south interested in securing his services.

But if the former Helsinki player fails to show he can control his fiery temper in the closing months of the season then there is a very real danger it will have a negative impact on the transfer fee Rangers can command.

What club would be willing to pay big money – and Rangers will be looking for an eight figure sum for their leading marksman – if he is going to spend as much time suspended as he is available and create as many problems as he solves?

The Glasgow club can ease their financial problems considerably, possibly even post a profit, if they can bank a sizeable sum for Morelos in the close season.

But they may find the offers they receive fall short of what they are looking for if the striker is unable to exhibit greater maturity between now and May.