EVEN though he’s pushing 35, Jermain Defoe has proved again this season that there’s still plenty of life in the old dog yet.
There will be no shortage of takers when Defoe quits Sunderland at the end of the season as he exercises the release clause on his contract.
West Brom and Bournemouth have already shown an interest. His former club West Ham too. Others are sure to join the race given Defoe is available on a free transfer.
Sky pundit Tony Cottee, who knows a thing or two about things going on behind the scenes at his old club, reckons Defoe favours donning the famous claret and blue once more.
He still has that goalscorers’ instinct as he has bagged 15 Premier League goals this season in a relegated team – more than half of Sunderland’s paltry total of 28.
Without his goal contribution, the Black Cats would have been dead and buried by Christmas and he can’t wait to break his North East ties.
Zapsportz sources tell us that West Ham will step up their bid to bring Defoe back to East London, and former Hammer Cottee backs up our claims.
When asked whether Defoe would be playing his football at London Stadium next season, Cottee told Premier League Daily: “Yes, I think he will be. I think that’s his preferred choice. Obviously it depends on the owners and the people running West Ham.”
As reported on the Sky Sport website – http://www.skysports.com/football/news/11685/10881177/jermain-defoe – ‘TC’ added: “Would I like him there? Yes I would. He’s a goalscorer and it’s hard to buy goalscorers now. People say he’s 34, but with the modern game, I think it’s easier to play at a later stage of your career.
“I retired at 35, but I think you can now play at the age of 36, 37 in the Premier League and Jermain has done it this year, scored a lot of goals and led the line on his own with not a lot of support.”
FOOTNOTE: Sunderland boss David Moyes has called on the powers-that-be to award Defoe the OBE for the support he has shown for terminally-ill Black Cats fan Bradley Lowery.
He has carried the five-year-old onto the pitch as mascot on numerous occasions for club and country – and has been pictured at brave Bradley’s bedside too.
Now a petition, already with more than 2,000 signatures, has been organised to get Defoe a deserved OBE.
Sunderland boss Moyes supports the campaign, and he said: “Jermain has shown real compassion for a very sick young boy. I think it has been one of the plusses at the club this year. He deserves to be honoured.”
And so say all of us.