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He's got the gift: Former Northern Ireland international backs Defoe to be a hit for Rangers

 

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Jermain Defoe.

Jermain Defoe.

Jermain Defoe.

Former Northern Ireland international Steve Lomas has backed Jermain Defoe to be a success for Rangers.

The Bournemouth striker is set to move to Ibrox on an 18-month loan deal, having been restricted to just four substitute appearances in the Premier League this season.

The 36-year-old hasn't scored since the end of March but his ex West Ham team-mate Lomas says he has everything required to be a hit north of the border.

"He has had his injury problems at Bournemouth this season, but I have no doubt he would score goals up in Scotland," said Lomas. "That almost goes without saying. He's a model professional who looks after himself. His body fat will still be the same as when he played as a kid.

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"Some people just know where the goal is. Some have an innate ability - an instinct - that helps them find the net. It's a gift and he's got it. Ian Wright is another one and Jermain is up there.

"I watched him in training and games for five years. I saw him picking the brains of the senior players, wanting to pick up tips all the time.

"He was confident, had the cockiness. You could tell Jermain and Joe Cole would make it at the top level. They weren't afraid of anything.

"The only question would be, can he stay fit to justify the wages? He's been picking up niggles that at 36 are hard to shake off. What might help him in Scotland, though, is that there is very little travelling compared to England."

Defoe, 36, will join his new team-mates for their winter training camp in Tenerife and could make his debut against Cowdenbeath in the Scottish Cup on January 18.

Defoe comes with a reputation as a top marksman, having netted over 140 goals in England's top tier for Tottenham, Portsmouth, Sunderland and Bournemouth. He also scored 20 goals in 57 appearances for England.

Belfast Telegraph