Alloa on a cold Wednesday night was probably the last place Rangers fans would expect to find that potential spark to freshen up their sluggish form.

But as the frustrated Light Blue legions were left scratching their heads at the reasons for another below par display at Ibrox, some looked at events at the Indodrill Stadium on the same night.

Not all Rangers players suffered disappointment on Wednesday as David McCallum’s second string booked their place in the SPFL Trust Trophy quarter finals with a 3-2 victory over the Wasps.

It’s a long way from Colombia to Clackmannanshire but Juan Alegria wasn’t put off as he turned in a star performance with a sizzling hat-trick.

There has been plenty of excitement over the 19-year-old since Record Sport exclusively revealed last January that he was on Rangers’ transfer radar.

It took until the summer window to get him tied down with Alegria arriving on a three-year deal from Finnish side Honka for a six-figure fee.

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His nationality and route to Govan from Colombia via Finland meant comparisons with Alfredo Morelos were inevitable.

But he’s a couple of years younger than the 101-goal Gers sharp-shooter was when he first signed from HJK Helsinki.

Yet there are similarities between the pair as one of the Alloa defenders who came up against him on Wednesday gave an insight to Record Sport Online .

Veteran Wasps stopper Andy Graham faced Moussa Dembele when the Frenchman scored in the last minute as Celtic needed two late goals to see off Alloa in the League Cup in 2016.

So he knows what it’s like to face a young, top class striker and is quick to admit Alegria isn’t anywhere near that level.

But if Steven Gerrard is keen to freshen things up - and why wouldn’t he? - then Graham witnessed enough in 90 minutes to suggest Alegria could make an impact off the bench.

Alfredo Morelos of Rangers celebrates scoring his team's second goal, and his one hundredth goal for Rangers during the Cinch Scottish Premiership match between St. Mirren FC and Rangers FC (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)
Alfredo Morelos celebrates after scoring his 100th Rangers goal

Rangers head to Motherwell on Sunday for a lunchtime kick off and they could be second in the Scottish Premiership table by then if Celtic win 24 points earlier.

Rangers’ activity in the transfer market is being scrutinised after failing to hit the heights of last season yet maybe it’s one who slipped in almost unnoticed who could offer something.

Graham said: “I played against Moussa Dembele when he was 20 and he was different gravy. We lost 2-0 in the quarter finals of the League Cup and he scored in the last minute.

“He was definitely more advanced but remember he was playing with Tom Rogic and Scott Sinclair so it’s all relative.

“You have to look at the players around him and if you put Alegria in the Rangers team with Ryan Kent and other quality then that helps make you a better player.

“I wouldn’t be saying he’s ready to start - and the Rangers coaches see him a lot more than I did over 90 minutes so will know better - but all the raw attributes were certainly there in terms of pace, strength and obviously finishing ability.

“It’s hard coming over to a new country at 19-years-old which people forget and that’s maybe why he’s getting game time for the ‘B’ team.

“He was strong and physical which you don’t usually get at that age because a lot of the time they aren’t fully developed.

“But he was the opposite - he was very strong and wasn’t afraid to put himself about which I like about a player at that age.

“He wasn’t worried about that side of the game and then there was his instinct to be in good positions when the ball was coming in the box.

“He took his first goal really well - getting up well with the header - and the next two were more poacher’s finishes because he picked up good positions at the back post.

“He waited on a mistake for us and he pounced which is what good strikers do. There’s a lot of potential there and I’m sure the Rangers fans will be excited about him.

“I understand where Rangers fans are coming from if they are looking for him to be promoted after a frustrating result against Aberdeen.

“I know what it’s like at the Old Firm - one bad result and they want change but it is a big jump from playing against an Alloa back four who hadn’t played in a long time - myself included - so to come in against a makeshift Alloa back four to SPFL defences.

“Having said that, at that age you’re looking to be part of the squad and coming on and maybe making an impact.”

Alegria had to wait for his first start due to injury but scored against Caledonian Braves before his Wasps treble.

And assistant ‘B’ coach Brian Gilmour said on Rangers TV: “Juan has had a tough time in terms of the injury, but he is getting fitter, he is getting stronger.

“He is getting to learn more and more about his team-mates and us on a daily basis, you can see that.”