The ex-Celtic striker idolised by Rangers target Jermain Defoe

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Expected Rangers signing Jermain Defoe counts a former Celtic striker as his idol growing up.

• READ MORE: Rangers signal title intent with signing of Jermain Defoe

Jermain Defoe is set to sign for Rangers. Picture: Aitor Alcalde/Getty

Jermain Defoe is set to sign for Rangers. Picture: Aitor Alcalde/Getty

The former England international is set to sign an 18-month loan deal with the Ibrox side after undergoing a medical.

Defoe, who has scored nearly 300 career goals in more than 700 games for club and country, was inspired growing up by former Celtic striker Ian Wright.

The Arsenal legend arrived into the professional game late before going on to break the scoring record for the Gunners before spells at West Ham, where Defoe was a team-mate, and Celtic.

But what was it that made Wright stand out for Defoe as a kid?

Former 'Celtic striker Ian Wright was Defoe's idol. Picture: SNS

Former 'Celtic striker Ian Wright was Defoe's idol. Picture: SNS

He told the Graham Hunter Podcast: “For many reasons. The obvious one is the goals and stuff like that. But, I think, for someone to come into the game so late and to score as many goals as he did for Arsenal, break the record before Thierry (Henry) came along, a unique story, a real special story.

“He was a painter and decorator, he had a job and was happy doing that. He just went for a trial at (Crystal) Palace and was quite relaxed about it, ended up getting a contract, scored two goals in a cup final against Manchester United, went to Arsenal and the rest is history.”

Defoe would watch tapes of Wright in action as he sought to improve his game, namely his finishing.

“The celebrations, the passion,” he said. “Wright had bit of the old school. That old school mentality is ‘put the contract there I’ll sign it, I don’t need to look’.

“For me the most important thing is scoring goals. The money side, all that other stuff, takes care of itself. That’s not important to me. Just let me play football, this what I love doing.

“For me it was studying that tape (of Wright) and DVDs, just sitting in my room at night watching all different types of finishing, left, foot right foot, little dinks over the keeper, clever finishing, movement.”

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