Former Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham United manager Harry Redknapp has told The Glasgow Evening Times that Jermain Defoe can score 40 goals for Rangers next season.
The Englishman joined Rangers on an 18-month loan deal from Premier League club Bournemouth during the January transfer window.
The 36-year-old striker initially struggled to play well and break into the Rangers starting lineup due to the form of Colombia international striker Afredo Morelos.
Morelos’s recent suspension, though, has opened the door for Defoe, and the former Tottenham and West Ham striker has taken his chances.
The Englishman has made eight starts and six substitute appearances in the Scottish Premiership for Rangers since his loan move from Bournemouth in January, scoring seven goals in the process.
Redknapp worked with Defoe at West Ham, Portsmouth and Tottenham, and the former Queens Park Rangers manager believes that Defoe can score 40 goals if he gets chances.
Speaking to The Glasgow Evening Times about Defoe, he said: “Of course, he could score 40 goals next season. Without a doubt. Jermain will always score goals. He has such amazing movement and he is an amazing finisher.
“Given the chance he will stick them away and I’d expect him to do that next season. He will play for another two seasons yet given he is in such good shape.”
Bold prediction or realistic target?
Defoe is a proven goalscorer in the Premier League, and over the years, the Englishman has shown that he can find the target with ease if chances are created for him.
The striker has already proved what he can do in the Scottish Premiership, and if Rangers manager Steven Gerrard builds a team around him next season, then the 36-year-old will score goals.
Of course, much will depend on whether or not Alfredo Morelos will be at Ibrox next season. It is hard to see Morelos losing his place in the Rangers starting lineup next season, at least not before he loses form or gets suspended.
However, if the Colombian leaves in the summer transfer window, then Defoe will be the first-choice striker at Rangers, and he will score goals if he is given the platform to do so.