Rangers striker Jermain Defoe will “definitely not” be recalled by Bournemouth in the January window.
That is the verdict of ex-Aberdeen and Leeds United striker Noel Whelan, speaking exclusively to Football Insider about the Premier League great.
Defoe, 37, agreed an 18-month loan deal when he moved to Ibrox from Bournemouth in January but his parent club have the option to cut that short in six weeks’ time.
Rangers fans would be devastated if the goal machine was recalled at a time when the title race is reaching the crunch stage.
Whelan is adamant Defoe will be remaining at Ibrox for the rest of the campaign.
“Bournemouth are definitely not recalling Jermain in January,” Whelan told Football Insider. “They let him go for a reason, because they can’t offer him regular first-team football.
“They have Callum Wilson and Josh King, as well as Dominic Solanke, and are well stocked for strikers.
“Eddie Howe did the right thing in letting Jermain join a very good club with a great history and fanbase where he can end his career on a high.
“It works for all parties. Eddie Howe won’t recall him, he wouldn’t do that to Steven Gerrard, who needs him far more than Bournemouth do.
“I can’t see him playing week in, week out in the Premier League. In Scotland, it’s about keeping him sharp, not overworking him and using him at the right time.”
The striker tops the SPL goal charts with 10 this season after averaging a goal every 48 minutes, placing him above nine-goal pair Alfredo Morelos and Odsonne Edouard.
Since joining Rangers in January, Defoe has racked up 21 goals from 40 appearances despite playing second fiddle to main man Morelos.