Steven Gerrard details the qualities new coach Jermain Defoe will pass on to Rangers' young strikers after signing one-year contract

Steven Gerrard says Jermain Defoe’s “amazing experience and professionalism” will be a huge asset to pass on to the next generation of Rangers players, after the veteran forward signed a new contract.

The forward extended his stay at Ibrox by another year as a player, but will also becomes player-coach under Gerrard’s management structure later this month.

Defoe rounded off the season by grabbing the final goal of the season against Aberdeen, moments before lifting the first league title of his career, however Gerrard insists the 38-year-old still has a part to play on the pitch as well as the training ground.

Sign up to our Football newsletter

Sign up to our Football newsletter

“It is well-documented the relationship I have with him having known him for so many years, and I am thrilled that he is going to be passing on his amazing experience and professionalism to the attacking players throughout the club.

Jermaine Defoe is beginning a coaching career, but will remain a Rangers player. Picture: SNS

“He has shown this season, however, what an asset he can still be for us on the pitch, and I won’t be afraid to use him when necessary. I look forward to Jermain’s return and him beginning his new role when pre-season begins.”

Sporting director Ross Wilson echoed the comments of Defoe’s impact on young players progressing through the Ibrox ranks.

He told the club website: “JD’s popularity and influence on our squad is clear while our academy players and particularly young attacking players will only learn and develop by working with someone of his calibre. I’m delighted that his positive influence will continue and I am sure extend.

“[He] has loved playing for Rangers and in particular the energy and passion of our fans. He’s one of the finest goal scorers of his generation, the ninth in English Premier League history and his record for Rangers speaks for itself.”

Jermain Defoe celebrates winning the league at Auchenhowie as Rangers are crowned Champions of Scotland on March 07, 2021, in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Ross MacDonald / SNS Group)

Defoe added: “It is well-documented how much I love the club and the relationship I have with the fans, the players and the staff at the club.

It is something I wanted to happen, even before the season finished, especially the way we finished the season with winning the league.

"It is an unbelievable opportunity and shows the appreciation I get from everyone at the club which is the best feeling in the world. I imagine once I get started, hopefully I will just flow into it and everything will happen quite naturally."

Get a year of unlimited access to all The Scotsman's sport coverage without the need for a full subscription. Expert analysis of the biggest games, exclusive interviews, live blogs, transfer news and 70 per cent fewer ads on Scotsman.com - all for less than £1 a week. Subscribe to us today