Rangers manager Steven Gerrard insists that veteran striker Jermain Defoe can still offer “so much as a player” after combining his striking role at Ibrox with a place on Gerrard’s coaching staff this season – and the Gers boss is confident his former England teammate can be a “huge support” to him and his backroom staff.

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Defoe won the first league title of his lengthy career last season as Rangers romped to the Scottish Premiership with a record margin over bitter rivals Celtic, with the former Spurs, Sunderland and West Ham star desperate to help the Gers defend their crown.

Since Defoe arrived in Scotland, Gerrard has been full of praise for the veteran striker and his move onto the coaching staff didn’t come as a huge surprise over the summer.

With one foot in both camps now as a player and coach, Gerrard admits Defoe’s love of the game – and Rangers – is helping drive the 38-year-old on.

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“Jermain Defoe is a top professional and can offer us so much as a player,” Gerrard said [Rangers].

“He loves the game and he loves the club and supporters. He wants to defend the title at Ibrox and will be a huge support to me and my support staff moving forward.”

Defoe may find games hard to come by this season but there is no doubting the impact the veteran has behind the scenes.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Working with the younger strikers such as Alfredo Morelos has rubbed off on the Ibrox star and it is clear the improvement in El Bufalo’s game over the last two years.

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