HARRY Redknapp reckons his former striker Jermain Defoe can be good for 40-plus goals for Rangers next season if Steven Gerrard can assemble the correct supporting cast. The 36-year-old, signed three times during his career by West Ham, Portsmouth and Tottenham manager, has quietly grabbed seven goals in eight league starts for the Ibrox side since winning a berth in Gerrard’s team.

While parent club Bournemouth could theoretically recall him this summer, his loan deal is an 18-month arrangement and Redknapp reckons that scoring burst could just be the beginning for a player who he thinks has years ahead of him at this level.

“Of course, he could score 40 goals next season,” said Redknapp. “Without a doubt. Jermain will always score goals. He has such amazing movement and he is an amazing finisher. Given the chance he will stick them away and I’d expect him to do that next season.

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“He will play for another two seasons yet given he is in such good shape.

“Jermain looks after himself so well,” added the 72-year-old. “He lives right, he’s not a drinker, he’s totally dedicated.

“I signed him as a 15-year-old. And I signed him about 10 times after that … a bit like Crouchy and Niko Kranjcar!”

With Defoe just one goal away from the 300 mark in all senior competitions in the course of a 20-year career of approximately 750 appearances, Redknapp’s conviction in the player is such that he once signed him before seeing him pass a medical.

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“I think we were just trying to get it done before the deadline!” added Redknapp. “I signed him once at Portsmouth and his mum asked me ‘what about a goal bonus?’ I replied: ‘What do you think we’ve signed him for, to f****** miss them?!' 'What do you think we’re paying him 60 grand a week for?’ But, I love him, he’s such a nice fella, a great little guy.”

**Harry Redknapp was speaking at The John Hartson Foundation Golf Event at Turnberry. In its ninth year, The Hartson Foundation helps to raise awareness on testicular cancer and will go through the £1million this year on funds raised