JONATAN JOHANSSON believes Alfredo Morelos is reaping the rewards of having Jermain Defoe as his Ibrox mentor and Steven Gerrard as boss at Rangers this term.

The former Light Blues striker was integral to the deal that saw Morelos move to Glasgow for £1million in Pedro Caixinha’s ill-fated tenure.

Johansson may not have got the full benefit of Morelos’ ability during his time on Caixinha’s staff but the Colombian has gone from strength to strength in recent months.

Morelos hit 30 goals for Gerrard’s side last season and has 14 strikes from just 19 appearances so far as he has helped fire the Gers into the Europa League group stages and to top spot in the Premiership.

Johansson said: “He’s been great. It’s fantastic for me because I put my name to him and also because the current management team have done a great job and he’s progressing all the time. Last season he was great but there were some issues.

“This season he looks sharp, he looks fit and he looks like he’s growing in experience.

“He was very young when he came. It was a new culture and he didn’t know the language. Everything helps and he looks more settled and calmer which is good.

“I hoped he would develop like this. He was always a talent. He had attributes that strikers in Scotland and at Rangers need. He had those and it’s about giving him the right coaching to make him sharper and fitter. He’s been getting that.

“Jermain has done everything in football and will be a great help for him and also the manager and assistant have been there and done it. I think guidance is very, very important for young players and he’s certainly buying into the way Rangers are playing and doing things.

“When you come to this level it’s about hard work and it’s not being happy where you are. The one thing I remember is that Morelos is very hungry. If he keeps that hunger and keeps up the progression I think he will go higher still. I don’t like to put pressure on him but he’s doing well at the moment and long may it last.”

The form that Morelos has shown for Rangers was rewarded on the international stage over the weekend as he played for more than an hour in Colombia’s draw with Chile.

The 23-year-old will have a huge role to play at Ibrox this term and his former Gers coach believes he is only going to improve as his all-round game continues to develop.

Johansson said: “His finishing has got better. He’s become more calm in his finishing now whereas he used to go for power.

“Usually Rangers are playing against teams who are sitting back with the ball and he can do that because he loves the contact with the defender. His movement is good and he’s desperate to do well. He will get too emotional at times but he’s started to handle that side of the game really, really well.

“He’s always been really good at linking up play but they’ve been working on that. You can see it. Even if he doesn’t score, he’s much more involved in the game.”