Ger­rard is de­lighted to get De­foe

Sunderland Echo - - Sport -

Rangers have boosted their Scot­tish Premier­ship ti­tle chances with the high-pro­file loan sign­ing of Jer­main De­foe.

The for­mer Eng­land striker, a scorer of 162 Premier League goals, has moved to Ibrox on an 18-month deal from Bournemouth.

The sign­ing of the 36-yearold is a huge boost for Steven Ger­rard’s men, who for the first time in a num­ber of years are in a le­git­i­mate ti­tle tus­sle.

Locked level on points with Celtic, Rangers are in with a real chance and Ger­rard de­scribed De­foe’s sign­ing as “a great ad­di­tion to our dress­ing room”.

De­foe has scored goals wher­ever he has played, 273 of them in a club ca­reer tak­ing in the likes of West Ham, Tot­ten­ham, Sun­der­land and Portsmouth.

“I’m de­lighted to be able to wel­come Jer­main to Rangers. He is an ex­cep­tion­ally tal­ented striker and vastly ex­pe­ri­enced foot­baller who has scored goals at ev­ery club he has played for,” Ger­rard said.

“We look for­ward to in­te­grat­ing him into the squad whilst we work in Tener­ife over the next week.”

De­foe is the sev­enth-high­est scorer in the his­tory of the Premier League and sixth in the his­tory of Tot­ten­ham.

Not only has he won ad­mir­ers for his foot­ball - he scored 20 goals for Eng­land too - he has earned praise for his off-the-field be­hav­iour, in par­tic­u­lar his friend­ship with Bradley Low­ery, the hugely pop­u­lar Sun­der­land fan who died aged six af­ter a long bat­tle with neu­rob­las­toma.

De­foe was awarded an OBE for his char­ity work in 2018.

“It’s re­ally help­ful to get work on this front done early in the trans­fer win­dow be­cause it means we should be able to hit the ground run­ning af­ter the win­ter break. I be­lieve that is vi­tally im­por­tant,” Rangers di­rec­tor of foot­ball Mark Allen added.

Jer­main De­foe.

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