Marlon Harewood has tipped Glasgow Rangers manager Steven Gerrard to give Jermain Defoe a new contract.
Speaking exclusively to Football FanCast reporter Tom Ward, the former Premier League striker believes the Ibrox boss is most likely to green light a new deal for the veteran, 38, at the end of the season.
Defoe recently revealed he wanted to earn a contract extension in an interview with the BBC’s Football Daily show as his current contract is set to expire in 2021.
His £65,000-per-week wages make him the club’s highest-paid player, which could somewhat complicate the matter, especially when you consider the fact that he earns nearly double what Alfredo Morelos currently receives.
But Harewood insists his former teammate has more than justified a new deal as he has continued to score goals on a good level consistently.
He told FFC: “I played with him at West Ham and he was unbelievable.
“Knowing Stevie G [sic], I would’ve thought so because at the same time it keeps the other strikers on their toes, knowing you’ve got this legend who can still bang goals in at his age, they’re the sort of players that you want around your squad.
“So, I would give him a new contract because he’s just going to go somewhere else and do what he’s got to do. At his age, he’s still proving he can score goals and be a threat.”
Gerrard has some big decisions to make regarding the first-team squad as he has several players with deals running out next summer, with Allan McGregor, Steven Davis and Leon Balogun also on the list.
Defoe has consistently been one of the most prolific centre-forwards in the world as his impressive resume more than speaks for itself – over 300 goals in his club career so far. He hit the milestone during the 2-0 win over Livingston in the Scottish Premiership last month.
Rangers reached a pre-contract agreement with the former 57-cap England international that saw him join from English Championship club Bournemouth in the summer, after initially arriving at Ibrox on loan in 2019
Since then, he has made 56 appearances for Gerrard’s side, scoring 27 goals and supplying 10 assists in all competitions.
Recently described as a “superb” beast by Gers assistant manager Gary McAllister after the Livingston win, Defoe has still found his chances limited this season, having made just three appearances in the Premiership, as he faces stiff competition from Morelos as well as new recruits Cedric Itten and Kemar Roofe for a place in the starting line-up.
As we’ve previously discussed, we would have no qualms if Ross Wilson ultimately decided to cash in on him, as he has less than 12 months left on his current deal.
With that being said, these kind of numbers would be equally hard to replace, as Itten has arguably struggled to hit the ground running, with just two goals in his last ten games for his new club to his name. One more year will hardly hurt, that’s for sure, as he may be willing to take another wage reduction as well. Let’s face it, the Gers are probably better off getting rid of Greg Stewart instead.