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Rangers starlet Dapo Mebude following Defoe

After Rangers starlet Dapo Mebude wheeled away in delight following a goal in the 2019 Scottish FA Youth Cup final, the striker decided to emulate the celebration of Kylian Mbappe.

A knee slide with arms folded, the confidence and aura surrounding the 18-year-old was clear to see as the Gers went onto beat their Old Firm rivals.

This wasn’t the first time Mebude showed class above his age, however.

The young forward is comfortably one of the rising stars of the Ibrox academy – the very fact he played in the first-team under Gerrard last term shows as much. Yet, that outing against Kilmarnock in 2018/19 remains his only appearance for the senior side.

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That’s not due to a lack of effort because he’s regularly been training with the more experienced members at Rangers – it’s simply because the manager doesn’t deem him ready yet.

Indeed, the very fact he’s competing for a spot with Alfredo Morelos, a man with 29 strikes this term means it’s difficult, while the arrival of Florian Kamberi didn’t help his cause either.

In terms of playing time, Jermain Defoe is also in his way.

Funnily enough, the former Premier League forward is the teenager’s mentor, guiding him on and off the pitch in his quest for stardom.

The duo shared a lovely exchange on Instagram in late 2019 as Defoe claimed he’d be scoring goals for years.

Can Mebude emulate Defoe?

Definitely

Definitely

I'm doubtful

I'm doubtful

Mebude has a great affection for the 37-year-old, explaining in March how he’s being assisted: “I think the main one [in the first-team to give advice] is Jermain Defoe”, Mebude told Rangers TV. “I think everyone has seen how he took me under his wing and gave me a lot of advice.”

U20s manager Graeme Murty has also opened up on their relationship in the past, stating: “Dapo has a great relationship with Jermain Defoe. He has been fantastic with Dapo and gives him advice on things he has to work on.”

Despite that, Mebude was on fire before the ex-Tottenham man even arrived in Glasgow.

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A hat-trick off the bench for the reserves when he was just 17 is fine evidence of that. The prodigy isn’t just someone who has burst onto the scene now – he’s been impressing for quite a while.

Described as someone who has “lightning-quick pace”, the forward put pen to paper on a new deal in December 2018 that will keep him in Glasgow until 2021.

Whatever happens to Mebude beyond that will be intriguing to oversee, but the starlet certainly has a bright future within the game if he continues to do what he’s been doing.

Meanwhile, meet the kid who could become Glen Kamara’s SUCCESSOR at Rangers…

Article title: Rangers starlet Dapo Mebude following Defoe

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