KEMAR ROOFE’s absence due to injury will hit Rangers harder than missing Alfredo Morelos, according to Kris Boyd. 

The ex-Rangers hitman of course believes that both players being out injured poses a significant blow to his old side’s season run-in.  

Morelos was ruled out for the season several weeks ago now, with the Colombian needing to go under the knife to fix a thigh problem.  

Roofe has stepped up to the mark in the games he has missed so far, scoring some important goals in that time including a hat-trick against St Mirren and the winner against Braga to send Rangers into the last-four of the Europa League 

And Boyd reckons Roofe’s presence will now be missed more than Morelos, as Rangers prepare for the first leg of their semi-final tie against RB Leipzig on Thursday.  

He explained: “The loss of Alfredo Morelos was a big blow, but losing Roofe is an even bigger blow for me. 

“You had Roofe to replace Morelos but there’s no one really to replace Roofe. 

“I know Sakala played on Saturday but you’ve got to look at the last European game and that wasn’t his best performance. 

“You know what you’re going to get from Sakala but I still think he’s better coming off the wing. 

“Whether that then moves Ryan Kent into a central position, you put Sakala out there or Joe Aribo comes into it. 

“But I think you could possibly see Rangers playing with that false nine as such. 

“Listen, it has its strengths. If it’s a midfielder, winger you come and start looking for the ball. 

“If that’s the case you need someone to stretch the play because you can’t just camp in, defending and hoping for a counter-attack but you can’t have everyone coming to the ball. 

“You need people to run away from it. I know if sounds simple but sometimes when you go away from home in Europe everyone wants on the ball because you do seem to get more time on it. 

“I think it’s important that whoever plays through the middle stretches the game and allows Rangers the opportunity to get up the field. 

“If Rangers go over there, you’d expect Leipzig to have learned from the mistakes and not under-estimate Rangers from Borussia Dortmund. 

“If they’ve done their homework then it’s going to be a completely different German team Rangers will face compared to Dortmund.” 

He added: “I think Sakala gives you more from the wide areas than what he does through the middle. 

“You’ve obviously got to them ask yourself does he give you more than Kent from the wide areas? Probably not. So you are then probably weakening two positions if you put Kent through the middle as such. 

“It’s finding that balance. In the past you could see Rangers were 4-2-3-1 or 4-3-3. 

“I don’t think they are that rigid any more in terms of ‘that’s the way they play’. 

“There’s flexibility with the forward players drifting into areas. 

“Maybe it was just a one off with Sakala in Braga but you could see the players were frustrated with him as well. 

“For me looking at it, if I’m going to start Fashion Sakala he has to start in the wide area. 

“He might well start on the right and Kent might stay in his position. Scott Wright is there, Joe Aribo could play as a false nine. So there are plenty of options. That’s why I’ll probably sit and talk about it and let Giovanni pick his team.” 

van Bronckhorst made eight changes to his team which beat Motherwell comfortably on Saturday afternoon.  

The likes of Steven Davis, Glen Kamara, Amad Diallo and Wright all came in from the start.  

There has been a perception that the Dutchman has quite trusted the full use of his squad until this point where it has become essential to rest players ahead of such big games ahead.  

And Boyd reckons the last couple of games have been a reminder of the quality within Rangers’ ranks.  

He said: “Giovanni has decisions to make. For some reason he’s not trusted the full squad for numerous weeks. Whether forced upon him, he felt the last few weeks that’s changed a little bit. 

“At the weekend he made eight changes from the semi-final and the majority of that with ten men and still controlled a game in Scotland because they’ve got good players. 

“People like Steven Davis, they don’t become bad players overnight. I still think he can have an impact in Rangers even next year. 

“He’s a good type, he’ll always work his hardest. That showed at the weekend where after not playing as much he’s asked to come in and perform, he does what he does. 

“He keeps the ball simple and sometimes that’s the hardest thing to do. 

“Is there a case for him coming back in? I’d imagine Lundstram and Jack will be the first two in the middle of the pitch, that’s been Giovanni’s go-to in Europe. 

“Because there’s that striker missing, you have to fill that void with someone else. 

“It could be Aribo or Arfield going that one further up. Then there’s a case for Davis to come in and play as a tight three. 

“Scott Wright has done himself no harm recently either. Coming on against Celtic, at the weekend obviously. 

“He’ll be saying I’m in with a chance of starting. Rangers are in a good place, albeit without a recognised out-and-out striker.” 

Kris Boyd was speaking at his annual Charity Golf Event at Turnberry to help raise awareness for Mental Health.