The Chalkboard: Steven Gerrard must use Jermain Defoe as impact substitute

Rangers were absolutely delighted to welcome a striker of Jermain Defoe’s calibre to the club during the January transfer window, but now Steven Gerrard is faced with a selection headache.

On the chalkboard

Alfredo Morelos is unquestionably the main man at Ibrox. When the transfer window opens, he is the jewel in Rangers’ crown drawing potential suitors from far and wide.

January was no exception but, rather than succumb to any offers arriving for the Colombian’s services, Rangers decided to bolster their attacking options instead. A wise choice.

Enter Defoe: one of the most prolific goal scorers in recent memory for avid watchers of Premier League football.

Gerrard has largely operated with a 4-3-3 system so far this season, with Morelos operating at the focal point sandwiched between two creative wide players.

That system has worked relatively well for the Gers but Defoe’s presence has threatened to shake things up.

Should Gerrard stick with his familiar system or try and incorporate Defoe alongside Morelos?

Well, James McFadden’s admission that “Gerrard is getting the best from his side, by using his wide players” suggests the Liverpool legend should play to his strengths in his bid to catch Celtic at the top of the SPFL.

With Ryan Kent continuing to wow the Gers faithful with his dynamic approach and the likes of Daniel Candeias and Glenn Middleton offering quality in wide positions, it’s fair to say there’s an obvious solution to this conundrum.

Impact substitutes can make or break title challenges

Nostalgic memories of instinctive finishes while playing off the shoulder of the last defender undoubtedly drew Gerrard towards Defoe in January, but he cannot allow those thoughts to cloud his vision.

Morelos is the future; Defoe is the past. Gerrard simply cannot waste time trying to find a system which incorporates both players with the SPFL title hanging in the balance.

Defoe, though, could have a huge say as an impact substitute. In games which Rangers struggle to find the net bringing on a player of his calibre could be a game-changer.

At 36 years of age he is hardly blessed with the blistering pace he once had, but against tired legs his poachers instinct could represent the difference between a frustrating draw and a priceless victory.

Article title: The Chalkboard: Steven Gerrard must use Jermain Defoe as impact substitute

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