AFTER enjoying a very fruitful 18-month loan spell, Jermain Defoe is now a permanent Rangers player – and he’s determined to achieve something special at Ibrox.

The former England striker has signed a one-year deal with Gers after netting 17 goals in 32 outings in the last campaign.

Now his full attention is on the new campaign – and he admits it’s a bit of a different feeling for him now he’s absolutely a Rangers player.

Speaking to RangersTV, Defoe explained: “It’s something I was looking forward to. When you go to a club on-loan, even though you’re part of it, there is still that something where you are still contracted to another club.

“But to actually be a Rangers player is something I was looking forward to and I am happy that it got done and I am just looking forward to the season.

“I’ve loved [those 18 months]. From the minute I walked in the door, the love from all the players, the manager who I knew before, the coaches, the people like the women in the canteen – everyone around the training ground really, the kitman Jimmy [Bell] and obviously the fans – it has been amazing and that is why when I actually signed the contract, I just couldn’t wait to be a Rangers player and hopefully go on to achieve some special things here.

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“When you look at football, sometimes you have players and when they come to the back-end of their career, they might drop down leagues or play for lesser clubs.

“I have said many times, I feel blessed that I have been given the opportunity to come to another massive club. With the lockdown, you have had a lot of thinking time and you’ve been able to reflect on everything, and I have always said, to achieve something special here with this group of players and the staff, for me, would be so special.

“When you finish your career and you look back and come back here, you’ll be able to look at the names on the board, and if you could be among those names, it would be amazing as it is a massive football club.

“I feel blessed to be here.”

Defoe has always been someone in his career to give plenty back, and last week, he took part in a superb webinar with the Rangers Academy.

There, he discussed his career and what it takes to reach the top of the game – and it’s something he is hoping to repeat once the advice allows.

He continued: “I enjoyed it and I have always enjoyed stuff like that. Probably more-so now because, obviously as you get older and all the experiences you have had over the years, it is always nice to give something back, and especially here as the young kids here are great.

“They are always asking me questions, they listen, they want to learn which is important, and for me, I have always wanted to be approachable.

“I’ve always wanted the young kids to feel comfortable to come up to me and speak to me about anything.

“So to do what I did the other day was really good and it’s something I want to do going forward.

“I probably would have enjoyed it more if I did it in the theatre room or something like that as on a Zoom call, you can only see five faces and I think there were like 300 people!

“But going forward, it is something I would like to do just to give something back and to try and help the next generation of young kids to play for this football club.”

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