Kilmarnock defender Stephen O’Donnell has drawn comparisons between new Rangers signing Jermain Defoe and Celtic’s 2004-05 flop Juninho.
The 36-year-old striker joined the Gers this month after having struggled to earn regular game-time for Premier League side Bournemouth during the first-half of the season. The former Tottenham striker now reunites with his former England team-mate Steven Gerrard.
The veteran striker has joined Rangers on an 18-month loan deal and the transfer has generally been met with mixed response from the public. Defoe is a player who is clearly past his peak and many feel that he does not have what it takes to score goals regularly anymore.
However, he was once one of the most feared strikers in England and could still have what it takes to play regularly in the Scottish Premiership – especially as Defoe should get plenty of goalscoring opportunities at Rangers.
Despite this, O’Donnell has issued a warning to Defoe and told him that he could end up like Juninho.
The former Brazil international joined Celtic from Middlesbrough in 2004 and was widely expected to be a hit for the Hoops.
Juninho was however used out wide instead of in the middle of the park and struggled for consistency.
During one year with the Scottish giants, he went on to make just 14 league appearances, scoring one goal.
Gerrard and Rangers will be expecting a lot from Defoe. There is no doubt that his vast experience could prove vital in helping the Gers to potentially win the league title this season.
“He is coming up here and he needs to respect us as well because if he doesn’t then he won’t do as well,” O Donnell said as quoted by BT Sport.
“It is not every top player that comes up and hits the ground running.
“You’ve seen that with Celtic, they signed Juninho a few years back and he didn’t do how everyone expected him to do. It is tough.
“It is a tough league that poses different challenges to England but he is a top player so I am sure he has got the tools to perform.”
Kilmarnock host Rangers at Rugby Park on Wednesday night in a much-anticipated clash.