Former England defender Danny Mills has praised Rangers’ coaching staff for their role in the impact that Jermain Defoe has made at Ibrox and feels that he could be the key to ending their trophy drought if he extends his stay at the club.
The 37-year-old striker is on loan to the ‘Gers from Bournemouth and, with him due to return to the Cherries in the summer, Rangers are hopeful of securing a one-year permanent contract for him next year, as reported by STV.
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According to STV, Defoe is likely to agree to the Light Blues’ reported contract offer and Mills thinks that such a deal would represent an excellent coup by the Glasgow club.
He told Football Insider: “I think that’s down to Steven Gerrard, Gary McAllister, the coaching team, the club, the fans…you want to feel wanted.
“They’ve made him feel part of it and as we know, he could be the difference between success and failure because on his day he’s an outstanding striker.”
A look at Defoe’s form since coming to the club in January highlights just why Mills has been so wholesome in his praise of the veteran striker.
Going into tonight’s Europa League clash against Young Boys, Defoe has scored 13 goals in 23 Rangers appearances so far this season, second only to Alfredo Morelos’ 25-goal haul despite featuring for just 896 minutes in total.
Since coming to the club in January, the 37-year-old has found the net 21 times in 43 appearances, a return of 0.49 goals per game.
In his last 18 months at Bournemouth, Defoe had scored only four times in 34 games, averaging 0.12 goals per game in that time. Given the fourfold increase in his goals-per-game average since joining Rangers, Gerrard and his coaching staff may well have had a profound influence on the striker, as Mills has suggested.
The ‘Gers are only two points behind Celtic in the Premiership title race and still have the Scottish Cup to play for this season, so there remains a firm possibility that they could win their first major trophy since 2011.
As Mills has said, Defoe could have a significant part to play if any such success is to be achieved – along with Morelos, he is the only Rangers player to have scored more than five goals this season prior to the game against Young Boys.
If the Colombian were to be suspended (not unthinkable given his five red cards last term) or injured for a lengthy spell, the ‘Gers would suddenly find themselves hugely reliant on Defoe to fill the goal-scoring void.
It’s no wonder that Mills has come out praising the club and their coaching staff for getting the best out of the veteran striker, one whose goals could yet prove pivotal if they go on to claim silverware in the next few months.
Rangers fans, do you agree with Mills’ opinion on Defoe? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!
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