Glasgow Rangers are having a great time under Steven Gerrard. It’s fair to say he has taken to management like a duck to water, with the Gers finding themselves on top of the Scottish Premiership table, a point ahead of arch-rivals Celtic, ahead of the two sides clashing at Celtic Park after the international break.
In fact, it can be argued Gerrard’s side have come on leaps and bounds since he replaced Graeme Murty as the new manager of Rangers. However, he may have made his biggest mistake yet at the Ibrox Stadium by dropping Jermain Defoe from the Europa League squad.
According to The Daily Record, Rangers have had to remove several players from their squad as a result of UEFA rules. Gerrard has been forced to select a smaller 21 man squad due to a lack of homegrown players.
The seasoned veteran has rarely started this season, with the majority of his appearances coming as a substitute from the bench, which suggests his future at the club is uncertain. But this doesn’t mean he has shown any signs of slowing down anytime soon, if anything, far from it.
Defoe has featured three times in all competitions at the time of writing, scoring one goal and supplying one assist this season so far, via Transfermarkt. Last season, the 38-year-old scored 13 goals in 20 games in the Scottish Premiership, as per SofaScore.
And his former manager Eddie Howe once hailed the prolific goalscorer as “incredible” and insisted he should have received a call-up to Gareth Southgate’s England squad. But it is his European record that sets him apart from the rest of his rivals, which is perhaps why it seems silly to leave him out. Remarkably, he has scored 14 goals in 20 games in the Europa League, via Transfermarkt.
New arrival Kemar Roofe seems to have settled down to life at the Ibrox outfit, having scored two goals in five games so far, as per SofaScore. However, the 27-year-old, who can operate as an attacking midfielder or centre-forward, arguably lacks experience at the top levels of the game.
Being among the club’s top earners is bound to place Defoe under constant scrutiny, but when you consider the £1.26m-rated ace took a massive wage cut to extend his stay in Scotland, coupled with the fact he has scored at least six goals or more in the past two seasons, seems to suggest that Defoe is more than capable of defying the critics.
Gerrard may live to regret making such a heinous mistake.
AND in other news, Rangers must convince Leeds target Ryan Kent to sign a new contract…