A return to Sunderland? A coaching role at Aston Villa? Jermain Defoe's potential options after Rangers departure

Former Sunderland striker Jermain Defoe has left SPL champions Rangers after three years at the club – but what does the future hold for him?

Thursday, 13th January 2022, 11:06 am

The 39-year-old will be remembered fondly for his time in Scotland but had made just two appearances for Rangers this season.

Defoe’s former team-mate Steve Lomas believes the striker could continue playing - so where could the forward end up?

We assess his potential options:

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Former Sunderland striker Jermain Defoe has left Rangers.

A return to Sunderland

Black Cats supporters have already been calling for Defoe to return to the Stadium of Light.

Lee Johnson’s side are battling for promotion from League One and need to sign another striker to provide support for top scorer Ross Stewart.

Defoe’s connection with Bradley Lowery means he has strong ties on Wearside, where he was loved by supporters.

The striker scored 34 goals in 87 league games for Sunderland but his last season for the club ended in Premier League relegation.

Would a return to the Stadium of Light, helping the club win promotion, be the perfect way to end his career?

Back to London?

Defoe was born in Beckton, London, so a return to the capital may also appeal.

The striker’s youth career started at Charlton, who are 14th in League One, so perhaps there would be an incentive to re-sign for the Addicks.

It’s likely that if Defoe did return to a club in England he would want a player/coaching role - like he had at Rangers.

The striker has also played abroad for Toronto FC – although he spent just a year in the MLS before returning to England.

A move into coaching

Defoe took on a player/coach role at Rangers in the summer – when Steven Garrard was still in charge at Ibrox.

The striker has been taking his coaching badges and has always been interested in that part of the game.

After he was named a player/coach at Rangers, Defoe told the club’s website: "I have always thought about the coaching side of things - even when I was at Sunderland I did a little bit and I always used to take the younger forwards after training.

"So even then, I was doing a little bit without even knowing really - it was an ‘off the cuff’ sort of thing where I would give them some advice and do loads of shooting.

"It is always something I have thought about, and it is stuff I have enjoyed doing and to give back the experience I have got gives me a good feeling and I think when you love football like I do, something like this is special."

Gerrard is now at Premier League club Aston Villa, so perhaps there could be an opening there.

TV punditry

Defoe has regularly offered his thoughts while working as a TV pundit this season, appearing on Sky Sports and ITV.

The striker was part of ITV’s coverage as his former side West Ham beat Leeds in the FA Cup last weekend.

As a former England international and Premier League marksman, Defoe past experiences would make him an insightful studio guest.

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