Rangers striker Jermain Defoe has made a surprising claim to Sky Sports about his fitness, claiming he is feeling “better than ever” as he continues to deputise for suspended top scorer Alfredo Morelos.
Morelos, 22, is now available once again after serving a four-match suspension for his elbow on Celtic captain Scott Brown. It remains to be seen if Steven Gerrard will drop Defoe for the Colombia international.
Defoe has come into the side in place of Morelos and started the last four league games, scoring twice and laying on three assists. It has taken the 36-year-old’s tally to seven goals and seven assists in 17 appearances.
He has only started 10 of those matches, and the 57-time England international is showing that age is just a number. He claimed that he is “better than ever”, as he remains on loan from Bournemouth.
“I feel fitter than I have felt all season, even my time at Bournemouth to be honest,” Defoe said. “That’s obviously because I have had a run of games. I feel confident.
“Going into games, I always feel like I am going to play well. I always feel like I can score and if I don’t score I feel like I can contribute and make something happen. At the moment, I feel better than ever.”
Gerrard has to stick with Defoe for two reasons. One if that Defoe is finally getting back to his best, and is helping the Gers find consistency and a way in which to win games. His experience is invaluable.
The second reason is that Morelos deserves to be given a lesson. The Colombian has now received five red cards this season, and there is sense of being fed up with his lack of discipline among the Ibrox support.
Rangers take on Hibernian on Sunday at Ibrox, before playing host to Old Firm rivals Celtic against next weekend. Defoe has to start.