By Noel Whelan

28th Jan, 2020 | 7:00pm

'It's a big deal' - Exclusive: Whelan reacts after Rangers agree new terms

Noel Whelan has claimed that Jermain Defoe signing a permanent contract with Rangers is a “big deal” for the club. 

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the ex-Aberdeen man suggested that there is nobody else the Gers would rather have as a deputy to star striker Alfredo Morelos.

Steven Gerrard’s men announced over the weekend that the veteran frontman had put pen to paper on a pre-contractual agreement that will keep him at Ibrox beyond the end of his current 18 month loan deal from Bournemouth.

And Whelan has suggested that the Gers should be delighted with the news.

“Look, it’s a big deal because Jermain is a goalscorer,” he told Football Insider.

“He’s a natural goalscorer, always has been, always will be. To make it permanent, I think that will make Jermain very happy as well – he knows where he’s going to be. Everything’s been clarified now, he can really relax and get into next season as well and start looking forward to it.

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“You’ve got a very good player there with the right attitude.

“We know Morelos right now is number one, but what a great replacement to have on the bench. When you’re needing goals and experience you don’t look no further than Jermain Defoe.”

Defoe has been a real success since joining the Gers from the Cherries 12 months ago, hitting 24 goals in 49 games for the club in all competitions.

So far this term he has averaged one goal every 81 minutes for the Bears, but was unable to find the back of the net in the shock 2-1 defeat to Hearts on Sunday – a result that leaves Rangers five points behind neighbours Celtic with a game in hand.

In other Rangers news, ‘Absolutely ludicrous’ – Noel Whelan reacts to Ibrox transfer news.