Jermain Defoe returns to England with Sunderland
Striker training at Black Cats’ academy after agreeing three-and-a-half year deal
Jermain Defoe is set for a return to Premier League football after agreeing a three-and-a-half year deal with struggling Sunderland. (Vince Talotta/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
It is hoped the paperwork finalising his release from MLS side Toronto FC will be completed in time for Defoe to make his debut for Gus Poyet’s team at his old club, Tottenham Hotspur, on Saturday.
The former England, West Ham and Spurs striker has arrived from Canada in a part exchange deal understood to be worth in the region of £70,000 a week. It is an excellent deal for a 32-year-old but Sunderland believe that a striker Poyet knows well from their time together at White Hart Lane can score the goals required to ensure Premier League survival.
Defoe will become the club’s highest-paid player having left Toronto FC following an unhappy 11-month spell in Major League Soccer during which he scored 11 goals in 16 games.
Altdiore’s time on Wearside in the wake of his £6.5m move from AZ Alkmaar 18 months ago has been much more traumatic with the USA striker having failed to score a Premier League goal for more than a year.
He remains a big hero in the US though and has agreed terms with Toronto, leaving both parties waiting for the switch to be ratified by the MLS.
Sunderland, who are hovering above the relegation zone, are desperate for goals having managed only 18 in 21 league games this season and trust Defoe will prove the catalyst need to transform their fortunes.