By Ibrox News speaking to Alex McLeish

25th Jul, 2021 | 11:10am

Alex McLeish expresses Jermain Defoe concern after injury in Rangers v Arsenal

We’re delighted to welcome former Rangers manager Alex McLeish as our exclusive columnist. Each week he’ll be giving his views on the biggest talking points at Ibrox…

Alex McLeish fears that Rangers striker Jermain Defoe will be ruled out for the start of the season after he limped off injured in their friendly against Arsenal last week.

The 38-year-old pulled up lame against the Gunners with what appeared to be a muscle injury, and he was immediately substituted before the Gers went on to draw 2-2 with the English giants.

Speaking exclusively to Ibrox News, former Rangers manager McLeish fears the 57-cap England international may be set for an extended period on the sidelines, but has backed him to eventually recover.

“We know Jermain’s getting older,” McLeish said.

“He’s clever enough to know his own body.

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“A hamstring injury can keep you out for three to four weeks, maybe even longer sometimes.

“If it’s going to be one that we saw beginning to niggle him during the season, we know sometimes players start to feel that maybe time is up.

“But I think there’s more to Defoe than that, and he will come back, even if it’s just cameo roles.”

It was certainly an injury Steven Gerrard could do without.

Alfredo Morelos is currently still absent from pre-season after his Copa America exertions for Colombia, so the Gers are light in that department.

With Rangers pencilled in for Champions League qualifiers on August 4 and August 10, Defoe looks a major doubt for both games and certainly using McLeish’s timeframe.

However, Cedric Itten has shown signs of sparking into life this summer, netting in games against Partick Thistle and Arsenal.

He will hope to get the nod to lead the attack at the beginning of the season, while new signing Fashion Sakala will also be vying for a starting spot in the coming weeks.

In other Rangers news, this Light Blues player is to be unveiled at his 21/22 club next week, the Gers have inserted a significant clause.