ASK Jermain Defoe if he has missed football and one look at his face is enough to give you the answer.

The striker, who is arguably one of the Premier League era’s most prolific frontmen with close to 500 appearances and 162 goals has been limited to just eight appearances so far this season.

Five of those came off the bench and after switching from Bournemouth to Rangers for the next 18 months he admits it has been hurting him to be off the pitch.

Speaking to RangersTV Defoe said: “I have missed football so much this season, it has been tough.

“I think it has been tougher because at this stage in my career I am have been one of the more senior players at the club at Bournemouth and there are certain ways you have to conduct yourself.

“You are part of the leadership group and you have got to help the younger players when at times it was difficult.

“You came into training and you would be a upset because you hadn’t played but you have to try and focus on the team probably more than yourself when all you want to do is play football.

“I am used to playing football so it was tough not playing and not even getting minutes, it was probably the first time in my career when there was times when I wouldn’t even come on.

“In the past I have always felt even if I haven’t started games I thought I could come on, change the game and make an impact. That wasn’t happening anymore at Bournemouth which is why I decided to leave.”

Goals follow Defoe and he is certain they will come to the Scottish Premiership with him. Even after years of Premier League football the 36-year-old isn’t underestimating the size of the task his new home will present.

When asked if he was confident he could some damage in front of goal he said: “I hope so; if I get myself fit, match fit because I haven’t played then hopefully I can get a lot of goals.

“I am just looking forward to the challenge and a different league. I remember when I went to the MLS for Toronto I was surprised with the quality there.

“As players we all love a challenge and I am looking forward to the games. All the games are so big because you are trying to stay at the top of the league, compete and hopefully win a trophy.

“I didn’t really know anyone at Rangers before I came, over the years I have played against a couple of them so it’s like the first day of school when you walk in. Even that is exciting to me, meeting new people, meeting the staff and it should be good.”

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