West Ham executive Karen Brady has heaped praise on Rangers striker Jermain Defoe.

The veteran hitman, who started his senior career with the Hammers, is currently sidelined after picking up a knee injury against Ross County last month.

But despite his absence, Brady has singled him out as a beacon of professionalism in the modern game.

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Writing in a column for the Sun, she said: “Defoe, it seems to me, is a model modern pro.

“He knows his own mind, he trains well, he is so careful about his health he’s almost a vegan.

“He also gets involved with supporters and his special friendship with the inspirational Bradley Lowery, the Sunderland fan who died from cancer aged six, was national news.

“Like many top-class strikers, you’re hardly aware of him until he has the ball at his feet in the penalty area.”

How good is Defoe?

Far better than you would expect a player who is 38 in October to be.

The front man is still one of the most potent poachers around, and this season he has proven that yet again.

He may have been out of action for a run of matches, but he still has 17 goals in all competitions this term, and has been bagging a rate of one every 80 minutes.

That’s a ludicrous statistic.

For a point of reference, Alfredo Morelos has a goal every 97 minutes.

How much of Defoe’s success is down to his fantastic professionalism and eagerness to keep himself in peak condition? Probably an awful lot.

The desire to stay at the top, and the willingness to adapt in an effort to do so are hugely admirable, and he fully deserves all the praise he is given.

In other Rangers news, Charlie Nicholas predicts Gers v Braga, outlines ‘big issue’ facing Gerrard.

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