Rangers set up an Old Firm derby in the fourth round of the cup as they eased past League One side Cove Rangers at Ibrox on Sunday, with Jermaine Defoe particularly impressing for Steven Gerrard’s side.
The 38-year-old forward gave Rangers the lead with an excellent long-range strike and looked a quality above as he regularly found space in the area, coming close to further goals on several occasions.
A quickfire Kemar Roofe double, along with a well-taken goal from Nathan Patterson wrapped the win up for Gerrard’s side before half-time, with several youngsters such as Calvin Bassey and Scott Wright impressing.
However, it was arguably Defoe that sent the biggest message to Gerrard with his performance, and the fact that he was selected ahead of Cedric Itten upfront suggests that the 40-year-old manager still sees him as an important member of his squad.
It is surprising therefore that, as it stands, the former Tottenham Hotspur and England forward will leave Ibrox in the summer when his contract expires.
His performance against Cove Rangers demonstrated that, no matter what his age, Defoe will always have the ability to pop up with a goal and he can still be an important part of this Rangers squad, even if he is behind the likes of Alfredo Morelos and Roofe in the pecking order.
Earlier in the season, Gerrard was full of praise for the veteran striker, saying:
“He is in incredible shape and he loves coming into work and he is still trying to learn and improve and get better.”
Therefore, fitness clearly isn’t an issue for Defoe, as he emphasised in Sunday’s game, which will hopefully be enough to convince both Gerrard and Ross Wilson that he is worthy of a new deal at Ibrox, as he clearly still has something to offer in this Rangers side.
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