Rangers look set to secure the signing of striker Jermain Defoe on a permanent deal following the expiry of his loan at the end of the season.
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STV reported that the 37-year-old will sign a new one-year contract at Ibrox on a Bosman deal once his current 18-month loan from Bournemouth expires next summer.
According to STV, the England veteran will not be taking on a player/coach role despite suggestions that he would do so.
Defoe has earned his impending new deal at Rangers after his fine scoring form that has seen him score 13 times in 23 appearances this season.
The 37-year-old has racked up that tally despite making just nine starts, with his 13-goal haul being scored in 896 minutes of game-time, a return of one goal every 68.9 minutes. [via TransferMarkt]
That is a better average than Rangers’ top scorer Alfredo Morelos, whose 25 goals have been scored across 2,056 minutes (one every 82.24 minutes). [via TransferMarkt]
Admittedly Defoe’s goals have dried up of late, with his last coming against Motherwell in late October, but a run of six goals in three league games prior to that month’s international break shows the type of run on which the striker is capable of embarking.
The likelihood of him staying at Ibrox for another season also boosts Steven Gerrard’s striking options in a squad that is light on centre-forwards, with Morelos, Defoe and Greg Stewart the only options for that role (as per TransferMarkt).
Indeed, the latter has mostly played out wide this season, with a scoring return of three goals in 14 appearances across 502 minutes giving him an average of one goal every 167.33 minutes. [via TransferMarkt]
Although Stewart showed his effectiveness in attack by scoring twice against Hearts recently after coming on for the final 16 minutes, his low goal return in comparison to Defoe and Morelos might explain why he has only made five starts all season.
With Defoe looking likely to sign with Rangers for another year, Gerrard will likely be relieved not just to have sealed the future of a striker with such a potent scoring return but also to have a player committed to the club in a position where they lack squad depth.
Defoe will be 38 next October and may decide to retire after his impending one-year deal ends in 2021, so Rangers could well be in the market for another centre-forward before long, but at least his probable signature should lessen the urgency to get in another striker.
Rangers fans, would you be happy to see Defoe signing a one-year permanent deal at the club from next summer? Join in the discussion by commenting below!
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