FORMER Celtic striker Chris Sutton was in Glasgow yesterday to promote The Sportsman’s Perfect 10 game and gave his thoughts on the hot topics in Scottish football in a wide-ranging interview:

What do you think of the business Celtic and Rangers have done in the January transfer window?

“The market which Scottish clubs have to deal and buy in is very difficult. I think it is getting harder and harder.

“You have the way that Rangers have done their business and you have the way that Celtic have done their business. It is a wait and see situation between now and the end of the season.

“Rangers have gone for tried and test in Defoe and Davis. You can’t doubt that over the years they have been brilliant players. Their careers speak for themselves. Whether they actually have the legs any more remains to be seen. They have gone down that route, they have gambled, they are paying big wages for them.

“Celtic are doing it a different way. They have gone for a player (Oliver Burke) who was going to be the next big thing a few years ago. He has got a big point to prove. He is hungry, he looks powerful. I know he scored a couple of goals the other night, but I know for a fact centre forward isn’t a natural position for him.

“At the moment, Celtic are bare in that position. He (Brendan Rodgers) has chucked him in there. That has its risks. You have a guy coming up here who wants to prove himself, but is playing a position which is slightly alien to him. It is good for him he got a couple of goals.

“Timoth Weah looks a good young prospect and Vakoun Bayo at £2 million is a gamble. But that is the market they are in. A lot of Celtic fans are thinking are ‘where are the Wanyamas? Where are the Van Dijks? We were getting them before’. That is what Celtic have to get back to.

“But it is very difficult to be too critical of either club in terms of where they have done their dealings because the English market is absolutely bonkers now. Celtic can’t compete with Championship clubs down south.

“Dominic Solanke has hardly played any first team games for Liverpool and he has gone for £20 million. It is impossible for Celtic and Rangers to compete with that and pay the wages.

“But the proof of the pudding will be in the eating. Celtic are hoping one of these new boys is a rough diamond and they can mould him and turn him into a player and enjoy an unbelievable end to the season.

“Rangers have signed two players who have been there and done it. Can they do it now? Defoe hasn’t played many games. But the undeniable thing about Defoe is historically he’s a goalscorer. They have to find a way of creating opportunities for him.”

Other than the goal Defoe scored, Rangers didn’t really do that in the defeat to Kilmarnock on Wednesday night...

“No. I enjoyed the game. It was extremely competitive. It was a big deal the game. Rangers beat Celtic and they deserved to beat them. If they had won in midweek people would have said ‘that’s a statement, Kilmarnock’s a tough place to go’. But they didn’t.

“Earlier this week people were saying ‘blimey, Defoe and Davis have signed, what a chance they’ve got’. Now after one defeat people are asking ‘will that strike partnership work?’ You have to give it time. But then you don’t get any time up here do you?

Did the Rangers players get carried away with the Celtic win?

“I don’t think that is fair to say. It was their first win in 13 games against Celtic. I can understand their relief from it. Did they get carried away? I don’t know about that.

“It was important to back it up on Wednesday night and they didn’t do that. I don’t think Steven Gerrard, in fairness, got carried away. He speaks sensibly about things. He knows how difficult it is going to be.

“Looking at the games after the split they had some tough games, three out of the first four away. In my view it was important for them to get maybe 10 points out of 12. Now they won’t do so.

“I do think with the signings of Davis and Defoe they have gone all in with it. There is no doubt they are spending big wages on them. That cranks the pressure up.”

Who should Rangers play up front? Defoe or Morelos? Or both of them?

“Whoever is scoring! Jermain Defoe is a player. They need to create opportunities for him. I personally thought they lacked a bit of creativity. Ovie Ejaria has gone back. They need to find a way of creating chances. But Davis is a clever footballer.

“I do think sides have missed a trick with Celtic. Celtic haven’t had a consistent centre forward this season and they are top at the minute. They still aren’t hitting the form which we know they can. But what happens if the big players turn up in the second half of the season?

“If Celtic really click Rangers can’t afford slip-ups like Wednesday night. That would be the frustration and disappointment. They worked so hard to beat Celtic. But the game against Kilmarnock could be pivotal. Now they have to go to Livingston and make sure they win. It could all change in the blink of an eye.”

What did you think of the Rangers’ display in the defeat to Kilmarnock?

“I’m not going to question their commitment. They were totally committed. The worry would be that they’re cruising, Morelos hits the post. They were in total control.

“You didn’t see that slip coming. When they did slip, they didn’t recover. You have to credit Kilmarnock for that in many respects, but that would be a worry, how it panned out.

“People are going to start scrutinising the way his team’s playing because that’s a different system from what they’ve played this season. How are they going to fit these stars in?”

What does Jermain Defoe arriving at Rangers mean for Alfredo Morelos?

“Steven Gerrard said before the game they’d worked well in training. I do think it takes time.

Glasgow Times:

“What I would say is that Defoe’s track record is incredible. He wants to score goals, he’s selfish in that respect. His record on debuts is incredible. He’s a sniffer, he’s a finisher. I don’t think that’s particularly going to change. The issue Rangers have is creating Jermain Defoe opportunities.

“The worry is they (Defoe and Morelos) didn’t link up a lot and that’s a consequence of how narrow things were and it was congested in there. But that’s one game and it’s not fair to judge them as a partnership on that one game.”

Do you agree with Steven Gerrard that Morelos is worth more than £8 million?

“I do, yeah, absolutely. I do on the basis that (Dominic) Solanke is £20 million. I think he’s so valuable to Rangers, he’s a key player for them.

“We’ve seen so many examples over the years of the Scottish market being undervalued. It’s clearly another case of that. Centre forwards are at a premium, you need to pay big money for them.

“Celtic with Virgil van Dijk was the absolute sickener for the Scottish market. At the time, John Stones goes for £50 million and Celtic are selling Van Dijk for £12million.

“None of us are saying the Scottish league is as strong as the English Premier League. But if you’re looking at attributes, there wasn’t a £38million difference. Celtic should’ve held out and there have been many examples over the years.

“There comes a time when Scottish clubs, and it’s not easy given the finances, have to dig in.”

Will the performance of the Rangers defence against Kilmarnock be a worry for Gerrard?

“It’s something Steven Gerrard will be aware of. I think (Gareth) McAuley’s had a great career. But when Jordan Jones picks the ball up, you’re thinking ‘blimey, there’s trouble here!’ He’s not in a situation where he wants to get isolated.

“Rangers are going to get width from their full-backs, they’re going to get high and then they’re there for the counter.

“(Joe) Worrall’s was a huge mistake yet he played well against Celtic. It’s something he’ll have to iron out. After that loss there isn’t much of a margin for error. It can’t happen.

“It’s so extreme. It’s an amazing city Glasgow. After beating Celtic and being on a high, within one game we’re sitting thinking ‘what’s going on there?’ I like the Scottish game because it is so extreme. I get sucked into the way people think because I know passions run so high up here.

“I understand why questions are being asked of Rangers when 48 hours earlier, it was, what are Celtic going to do?

“I actually think the signings that they’ve made are exciting for Rangers, exciting for Rangers fans and exciting for Scottish football. But Steven Gerrard’s got to work to mould them and get them into the team.

“I think Steven Gerrard’s probably thinking ‘I wish we hadn’t given the ball away and I wish my goalie - who’s been brilliant this season - could’ve done a little bit better’.”

How does Brendan Rodgers give all of his players game time with Vakoun Issouf Bayo, Oliver Burke and Timothy Weah coming in?

“I think in terms of Celtic further down the line, they’ve got a lot of issues they have to address in the summer. In the here and now, they’re in a title race and under a bit of pressure. He will just be concentrating on getting over the line and nothing else.

“Whatever we say about the lad (Maryan Shved) coming in and this, that and the other, his record as a manager is pretty remarkable. Seven trophies on the spin? He’s just thinking, we need to get the next one under our belt.”

Aberdeen drew level with Rangers on points with their win over Hamilton on Wednesday night. Have you been impressed by the Pittodrie club’s resurgence?

“I’m a big fan of (Lewis) Ferguson and (Graeme) Shinnie, but I like the boy (Sam) Cosgrove and what he’s done this season.

“In terms of his strike ratio when he went to the club, he was very, very raw but he had something. That’s what Scottish managers have to deal with, work with and develop. For Derek McInnes to have that patience with him? I like stories like that.

“You have to credit the boy too. He was raw but it’s bloody difficult in Scotland, with the expectations of the fans. They want to see their teams competing.

“Managers don’t get time in this day and age so for Aberdeen to do what they’ve done, and be in their position, it’s on for them as well.”

What is the reaction to your controversial punditry from those in Scottish football?

“I’ve never had a call off a manager. I don’t say anything that bad. I don’t say anything that I wouldn’t say to their face.”

Is going to Ibrox an issue for you?

“It’s not a problem. I know all that sort of nonsense about security guards and this, that and the other. But we, BT Sport, have security guards at every game.

“I’m on social media and you get a lot of nonsense on there, but you also get a lot of sensible people on there.

“I like to engage when I’m walking around Glasgow. I don’t have many problems - there’s the occasional person who will shout abuse.

“But at the minute, certain Celtic fans take umbrage because I say Defoe and Davis are good signings and have been there and done it. I don’t have a problem saying that because they have.

“I’m not going to stand there and dismiss their careers because they’ve been bloody good players. I don’t get that. I don’t understand fans who think that way.

“Defoe and Davis haven’t done a Joey Barton and come up here and talked the Scottish league down and said they’re going to do this, that and the other. He set himself up for that. I think they’ve been very respectful and I like that.”

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