Jermain Defoe could prove to be the difference between Celtic and Rangers this season, according to Noel Whelan.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, the former Aberdeen ace said a fully fit Defoe could make it a “very interesting Scottish Premiership this year”.

The 37-year-old made a long-awaited return from injury against Lincoln Red Imps in the Europa League on Thursday night where he scored Rangers’ fifth goal in their 5-0 win.

Defoe had been on fine form in pre-season for the Light Blues before suffering a hamstring injury at the end of July.

With the former England international making a goalscoring return, Whelan believes he has not lost his natural ability despite his age.

He told Football Insider“He’s still one of the best finishers around, there’s no doubt about that, it doesn’t matter about his age.

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“He might have slowed down a little bit but if he’s in the box and the ball comes to him nine times out of 10 he’s going to hit the target.

“You can buy that sort of skill but it’s going to pay a lot of money.

“For Jermain Defoe, it was a great move to get him up to Rangers but now the biggest challenge is keeping him fit.

“If they can keep him fit this is going to be one very interesting Scottish Premiership this year.”

Defoe‘s goal on Thursday evening was his 26th in Rangers colours since joining, initially on loan, from AFC Bournemouth in January 2019.

Across his 20 year career the former Spurs striker has scored 319 goals in all competitions and at international level.

In other news, Football Insider can REVEAL a Rangers rising star may not play for the club again after talks with Graeme Murty.