Name: Jermain Defoe
Date of Birth: 7/10/1982
Former Clubs: West Ham, Bournemouth, Portsmouth, Tottenham Hotspur, Toronto FC
League Appearances (Goals): 451 (166)
International Appearances (Goals): 55 (19)
Stat of the Day: Jermain Defoe has scored at least one goal against every current Premier League team
Player Profile: It would be fair to say that Tony Fernandes can`t seem to catch a break these days, and with each goal Jermain Defoe nets for relegation rivals Sunderland he must be sinking lower and lower into his high-pressured, yet padded, Chairman`s chair. Sunderland`s expensive gamble seems to be paying off so far. In reality though, the decision to tell Harry Redknapp and Jermain Defoe where to shove it when they came banging at the door demanding a three-and-a-half year, £70 000-a-week deal was probably the right decision. QPR fans don`t need to be reminded of the amount of times they`ve been taken for a ride with ageing players looking to squeeze out one last payday and to gamble on a 32-year-old whose last prolific season was nearly five years ago was one of the intermittent sensible judgements the club have taken in recent times.
But while the QPR board may be fist-pumping the air at avoiding another potential Bosingwa, Wright-Philips, Cesar-related fiasco, Defoe has set about his work in his new job in confident fashion, conjuring up two goals in three games and fronting a new look Sunderland. The sharpness seems to remain and his ability to fashion opportunities out of nothing on the edge of the area, with two equally-adept feet, will see him to continue score goals at this level. The ex-England striker pursues goalscoring opportunities right to the death and anything less than finding the net every game is deemed as a failure. Fernandes will be hoping this latest decision in a long line of tough rulings won`t be the wrong one.
Jermain Defoe was initially spotted by Charlton as a 14-year-old and was enrolled at the FA National School of Excellence in 1997. At 16 he signed for West Ham and was a member of the Under 19 team that won the Premier League Academy title in 2000. The following season he was sent out on loan to Bournemouth where he netted 18 times in 29 league appearances, managing to net in ten consecutive games. He finished as West Ham`s top scorer during the 2001/2002 season but was unable to keep them from relegation the following campaign. He handed in a transfer request and eventually left for Spurs in 2004, having scored 41 goals in 105 league and cup games for The Hammers.
His £6 million transfer fee was soon justified as he settled into life at White Hart Lane, scoring on his debut and netting seven times at the end of the 2004/2005 season. His goalscoring prowess continued as he managed to score 43 league goals in 139 appearances over four years at Spurs. Defoe joined Portsmouth in January 2008 for £6 million and enjoyed a profitable spell on the South coast, scoring on his debut, before eventually re-signing for Harry Redknapp`s Spurs in 2009 for £15 million, just a year later.
His second spell at White Hart Lane lasted for five years where the striker cemented his place in Spurs folklore. He became the club`s fifth highest goalscorer of all-time, their leading goalscorer in European competitions, scored Spurs` 1000th goal in the Premier League and finished with 79 goals across all competitions in his second spell in North London.
In January 2014 Spurs announced Defoe would be leaving to join MLS side Toronto FC on a four-year-deal. The striker scored 11 goals in 19 appearances for the Canadian side, but reports surfaced that Defoe was unsettled and in January 2015 the 32-year-old returned to England to sign for Sunderland on a three-and-a-half year deal.
One to Watch – Jermain Defoe
Name: Jermain Defoe