Chris Sutton believes that if Celtic had signed striker Jermain Defoe that the Parkhead support would be drooling at the prospect of the veteran forward turning out for Brendan Rodgers’ side.

Defoe has signed an 18-month loan deal at Rangers, with Northern Ireland internationalist Steve Davies also heading back to Ibrox. England internationalist Defoe is a signing that Sutton believes will guarantee Rangers goals while the pundit has declared Celtic’s activity in the transfer window as a gamble. The former striker believes the Parkhead side still have unfinished after bringing in teenager Oliver Burke and Timothy Weah on loan and 21-year-old Ivorian striker Vakoun Issouf Bayo.

Defoe’s goalscoring stats make for impressive reading over the course of his career but at 36, there has been some suggestion that the England internationalist is on borrowed time in the game. Sutton, though, has maintained that the Ibrox side have the edge of the transfer business that has been done this month.

“Rangers seem to be going for it. They’ve laid down a marker to Celtic,” said Sutton. “The defeat to Rangers may, just may, not be the worst thing to have happened to them. Celtic will now realise where they are, that they need improvements and needed to bring these players in.

“Brendan may say he always planned to bring them in. But that defeat may have quickened up the thought process.

“The one thing I would say about Defoe, I know that some Celtic fans have said that he is getting on a bit but if Defoe had signed for Celtic, I think they would be putting a statue up to him outside Celtic Park.

“He has been there, done it and can finish and you know what you are going to get. He looks after himself exceptionally well and he is a talented striker. “He would have liked more game time at Bournemouth and Davies has only played six times this season at Southampton but he is a good pro and looks after himself and he will be well conditioned and you feel they will both come in and fit in pretty seamlessly whereas the Celtic signings, we will all be looking at them and wondering if they are going to hit the ground running."

While Sutton expects the experience of the two veterans to inspire Rangers in what he believes is a genuine title race, he also anticipates that Scotland internationalist Burke will have a point to prove at Celtic.

The 21-year-old’s career has stalled after two big money moves which totalled £28m. But having struggled for game time with Championship side West Brom, Burke is looking to reignite his career under Rodgers.

Still, though, Sutton has insisted that it is too early to make a call on whether the trio who have so far arrived at Celtic are capable of injecting new life into what has been a staccato campaign to date. And with imminent defensive departures anticipated Sutton also expects that there will be further options explored before the current window closes at the end of the month.

“He [Burke] moved to Leipzig, and people thought he was going to be the next big star,” said Sutton. “So he has come into this a little bit raw but he seems to be quite explosive in terms of his pace.

“But the jury is out with the Celtic signings. We can’t sit here and say that they are the finished article because they clearly aren’t but Celtic must have seen something in these players that makes them think they can get them over the line.

“I still think Celtic have business to do in the window. I can’t see Dedryck Boyata signing, that’s not going to happen. Filip Benkovic has been pretty decent but it is a surprise that they haven’t addressed that.”

Celtic captain Scott Brown’s future remains up in the air after an offer was put to the midfielder to end his playing career with Western Melbourne. It is understood that the A-League newcomers are willing to offer Brown a three-year deal with the 33-year-old mulling over the contract after talks took place last week.

“I still think Scott Brown has something to offer,” said Sutton. “Talk of this move to Australia, he’s not the type to let his focus drop. As you get older, you have to look after yourself better and your legs aren’t what they were. But he still has a role for Celtic.

“While I understand the talk about McGregor bringing a quicker tempo when he plays, does he smell the danger as quickly as Brown?”

Sutton, meanwhile, believes that the longer Leigh Griffiths is out of the game the harder it will be for the striker to come back. Celtic took the unusual step of granting Griffiths time away from the club in order to address mental health issues but Rodgers’ patience appeared tested after tabloid photographs emerged of the player enjoying a day at the races last weekend.

“I think it will be incredibly hard for him to come back,” said Sutton. “I’m just talking in terms of physically, being out for that length of time. As a striker especially, if you lose that little bit of sharpness, that takes a large part of his game away from him.

“So the jury is out in that respect. And it must be difficult for Celtic in terms of planning. I’m sure they’ll be in discussions with Leigh and giving him support every day. But, like it or not, that has put Brendan and Celtic in a position. The main thing is that Leigh is OK.”

*Chris Sutton will be part of the Premier Sports team which will broadcast the Scottish Cup this season.