Steven Gerrard is going to be “a top, top, top manager”, says Jermain Defoe, with the Liverpool legend expected to enhance his reputation at Rangers before moving on to another prestigious post.
The former England captain is already being linked with a return to his roots at Anfield.
Having committed to a contract extension at Ibrox which mirrors that of Jurgen Klopp on Merseyside, the stars are said to be aligning for a Reds icon.
There is still much for him to do in Glasgow, though, before his current terms come to an end in 2024.
Defoe expects Gerrard to deliver tangible success in Scotland before going on to further his coaching career elsewhere and enhancing a standing as a modern-day great on and off the field.
The Gers striker, who once played alongside his current boss at international level, told talkSPORT: “I have to give a shout out to my current manager, Mr Gerrard. He’s going to be a top, top, top manager.
“It’s a funny one because when I signed for Rangers, obviously you have a bit of banter in the changing room and the lads saying about how I’m pals with the gaffer and stuff like that, but he’s a natural.
“In terms of management he’s still fresh and he’s new but you can see that naturally he’s got everything.
“He always says to the players, ‘if you want to come speak to me about anything then my door is open’
“He’s approachable, which is really important as a manager. Sometimes there’s stuff you want to talk about and you might have personal problems and you might have stuff you want to talk about but feel uncomfortable going to the manager.
“But with Steven, you can talk to him about anything. He reminds me a little bit of Harry Redknapp and Sam Allardyce where you can just approach them and speak about anything.”
Gerrard and Defoe are currently in sporting limbo amid the coronavirus crisis, but NHS “heroes” have been hailed for helping to keep the country ticking over.
“You don’t really expect to experience anything like this in your lifetime,” Defoe added.
“Everyone has got to stick together and I want to give a big shout out, a thank you, to the NHS; to the doctors, the nurses, the ambulance drivers, the care workers… because this is an immense challenge.
“It’s something we’ve never faced before so I just want to pay respects to those people because they are the heroes in this.
“I can only imagine what it is like day in, day out having to deal with the people coming into hospitals every day.
“I’ve always respected the NHS; but my experiences when my dad wasn’t well a few years back, and obviously the stuff I went through with Bradley [Lowery], you see it first-hand.
“I remember going in to see my dad at the hospital and I remember speaking to the doctors and nurses and seeing how they work day in, day out; I was looking at the nurses thinking, ‘wow, I saw you yesterday, you were here all day yesterday and now you’re back here first thing the next day’.
“I’ve always known the work they always put in, but with the situation like this it’s gone to another level.”