Nigel Winterburn has tipped Jermain Defoe to continue scoring goals for years to come, as quoted by the Daily Record.
The 55-year-old was a teammate of the Rangers forward, back at West Ham in the early 2000s.
By that stage, Winterburn was at a similar point of his career to where Defoe finds himself now – late thirties, but with the fitness and hunger to keep pressing on.
The full-back eventually called it quits in 2003, aged 39.
Former Arsenal player backs Rangers star to keep going
“You know when the time is right to retire and you can’t do it any more but 36 years old for Jermain is probably 30 for other players because he’s got one of those bodies that never looks old”, he said, as quoted by the Daily Record.
“It doesn’t come naturally that he’s still producing what he is at that sort of age. He’s clearly looked after himself very well and occasionally you get players who can play well beyond what is usually considered retirement age.
“I felt I was still able to play for another couple of years so Jermain could easily have another three or four years left in him yet.”
Judging by Defoe’s performance against Hibs at the weekend, the forward has lost none of his killer instinct in the box, despite his advancing age.
Picking up on comments made by Steven Gerrard after the game [Scottish Sun], we suggested that despite the fact the forward is about to turn 37, the Gers may offer him a permanent deal come the end of the season.
You never know, yet, three or four more years at his current level seems a little far-fetched. Defoe himself admitted that he now needs to be managed [Glasgow Evening Times] and in four seasons time he would be 40.
He’s certainly producing the goods at the minute though, and in the short-term, he’ll be hoping to help fire the club to silverware. The England international has played professionally for 20 years but has never won a league title.
We’re sure that’s something he’ll want to put right before he hangs up his boots.