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Rudden and Hardie can continue to prove there is life after Defoe

(Photo by AFC Bournemouth/AFC Bournemouth via Getty Images)

Rangers

Rudden and Hardie can continue to prove there is life after Defoe

Jermain Defoe is on an 18-month loan.

Rangers signed Jermain Defoe earlier this month to provide a short-term fix to their striker problem.

Defoe joins on an 18-month loan from Bournemouth, teaming up with former England team-mate Steven Gerrard.

The 36-year-old is a natural finisher and should provide much-needed competition for Alfredo Morelos up front.

Morelos has netted 14 goals this season but back-up option Kyle Lafferty has only managed four goals.

Defoe’s arrival is an ideal short-term solution for Gerrard, while he mulls over his long-term striker options.

 

And this 18-month spell should give encouragement to two young Rangers strikers, who have been catching the eye on loan this season.

Ryan Hardie has been out on loan at Scottish Premiership side Livingston while Zak Rudden is in the Scottish Championship with Falkirk.

(Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

Hardie made his debut in September but had to wait until early December for his next appearance in what looked like it would be a frustrating and injury-hit campaign.

But the 21-year-old bounced back magnificently and netted five times in seven games in the Scottish Premiership.

This caught Gerrard’s attention and Hardie has been training with Rangers during the winter break ahead of a potential recall.

But Rangers should send him back out on loan where he would play regularly, rather than keep him as fourth choice.

Likewise, Rudden is making a name for himself on loan. Two goals in his last two games has pushed the 18-year-old’s tally to eight goals in 16 matches.

When Defoe’s 18-month loan spell expires, he will be turning 38 soon after. This will be the perfect time for Hardie and Rudden to step up and take his spot.

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