STEVEN GERRARD believes Jermain Defoe is a player who will enjoy the pressure that comes with wearing the iconic number nine jersey at Rangers.

The Bournemouth striker signed an 18-month loan deal with the Light Blues on Sunday and Gerrard, who played with Defoe on the international stage with England, is thrilled his former teammate has decided on a move to Ibrox.

When asked what the 36-year-old will add to his squad in an exclusive interview with RangersTV at the club’s winter training camp in Tenerife, the Gers boss said: “Goals, excellent movement, leadership and he’s a great professional.

“He’s a player who looks after his body so well and does everything to the letter in terms of his routine.

I think it was an area of the team I felt we needed to bolster to challenge and to compete. You need really strong options in the forward positions so alongside Kyle and Alfredo he gives us another very interesting player.

“I think having analysed the squad over the first six months it was an area of the team where we felt like we needed some help.

“It was certainly experience and know-how and in key moments in certain games I felt we lacked a little bit of experience.

“So Jermain and Steven [Davis] will certainly bring that. They are players who have played in big, big football matches and played in front of demanding crowds, so they are less risk if you like.

“They are replacing Umar [Sadiq] and [Ovie] Ejaria who are two inexperienced players, so I felt they are the two signings that we needed to bring more experience to the whole group.”

Gerrard was delighted that Defoe was so enthusiastic about a switch to Rangers during their discussions.

He added: “Rangers is a super club, it’s a huge club, it’s a well-known club and it’s a chance to compete for trophies at the top end of the table. Jermain knows all about this club and he knows all about what we are trying to do.

When we sat down with him he was super-excited to be part of it. He wanted to sign for a team that was at the top end of the table rather than be involved in a relegation fight. So we felt it was a match made in heaven, we just had to show Jermain what we were trying to do and he bought into it.

“He is super-excited and I think we have to really ease him in because he hasn’t played a lot of football of late. But I’m really, really excited to get him in a Rangers shirt.

“He’ll wear the number 9, which is an iconic number, and I think he is certainly someone who can do that shirt justice.

“He’s already got his legacy down in England, he’s one of the Premier League’s best-ever strikers, and now he has got the stage and the platform to go and show that he is capable of doing it in Scotland.”

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