Rangers latest news: Alan Hutton praises internal development for Scottish champions

Jermain Defoe warms up for Rangers at Rugby Park

Former Rangers star Alan Hutton has praised the club for extending Jermain Defoe's contract while speaking to Football Insider. 

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Earlier this month, the veteran marksman penned a new one-year deal at Ibrox after reports from Sky Sports back in May claiming Defoe wanted one more season playing in front of the club's fans before hanging up his boots. 

As part of his new deal, the 38-year-old will move into a player/coach role. 

What did Alan Hutton say? 

Praising the club for their decision to hand him fresh terms, Hutton spoke of how having Defoe in the squad will help the club's young players develop. 

“You think of a young player or a young striker coming through with Jermain Defoe," he said. 

“He’s done it at all levels for such a long period of time. Imagine learning off him daily in training.

“I think that’s probably one of the biggest things about this whole situation. Him being able to pass down his knowledge to the strikers who are coming through at Rangers.

“He has always been a popular guy. No matter where he has been or what he has done. Jermain’s got a great attitude towards the game, he’s very approachable."

How many goals has Defoe scored for Rangers? 

Since moving up to Ibrox, initially on loan in January 2019, the former England striker has scored 32 goals in 72 games while registering a further 10 assists. 

Impressively, he ended the 2020/21 campaign with four goals in fifteen games in the Scottish Premiership, only three of which he started. 

Despite his lack of consistent action (which is to be expected given where he's at in his career), Defoe still averaged the seventh-highest number of shots per game in Steven Gerrard's squad last season (1.3, via WhoScored). 

Was he close to leaving? 

The East Anglian Times claimed in May that League One outfit Ipswich Town were keen on a move for the former West Ham and Tottenham striker, though were priced out of a deal. 

In that report, they claimed Defoe was earning £35k-per-week at Ibrox, albeit that was before he signed fresh terms. 

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What has Steven Gerrard said about Defoe? 

Speaking to the club's official website after the striker's deal was extended, Gerrard revealed he was delighted. 

“I am absolutely delighted to be retaining the services of Jermain both as a player, and now also as a coach," he said. 

“It is well-documented the relationship I have with him having known him for so many years, and I am thrilled that he is going to be passing on his amazing experience and professionalism to the attacking players throughout the club."

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