When Jermain Defoe first departed the Premier League for the riches of the MLS back in the winter of 2014, such a move seemingly served to signal the beginning of the end for the former West Ham, Portsmouth and Tottenham Hotspur striker – who at the wrong side of 30-years-old, arguably no longer had much to offer the English top-flight with potential retirement plans in mind.
It was a notion that ultimately failed to hold up in dramatic fashion however, as although the former England international’s services were largely overlooked by the vast majority of clubs operating among the Premier League at the time, Sunderland eventually sought to bring Defoe back to England in somewhat surprising fahsion.
The now 34-year-old striker has since become a massive hit down at the Stadium of Light of course. He still seemingly scores goals for fun despite the perceived lack of quality around him at Sunderland – so whilst the former White Hart Lane favourite may not be the only in-form striker who has failed to receive glistening reviews from the rest of the English footballing community of late – could Jermain Defoe possibly symbolize the most underrated front-man currently operating among the Premier League?
Premier League goals in 2016:
Defoe – 18
Kane – 18
Vardy – 11
Rooney – 7
Sturridge – 6
Guess which one can't get an England call up… pic.twitter.com/kMqcbx5rSS
— All Football News (@AllFootballLive) 20 November 2016
Let’s face it, if Sunderland hadn’t been able to rely upon Jermain Defoe’s goals throughout the past season and a half, the determined Black Cats would have arguably seen themselves demoted back down to the Championship a long time ago. Put in no uncertain terms whatsoever, the 34-year-old hitman remains vital to the Wearside club right in the here and now, and no amount of money can really change that particularly salient fact with the January transfer window already fast approaching.
Although the former Three Lions representative is clearly operating within the twilight stages of his career this season, Defoe remains a truly valuable asset among the Premier League – as without a recognised goal-scorer doing the business up-top these days, success within the English top-flight can often prove something of an elusive prize to aim for.
When it comes to holding the ball up effectively inside the final third, possessing a truly composed nature in and around the opposition’s penalty box, as well as simply appearing at the right place and time over and over again no matter which particular club he was been a part of – this is one player who certainly fails to disappoint, even at the grand old age of 34-years-old.
On the back of his recent goal-scoring form among the English top-flight, Jermain Defoe arguably deserves to be part of Gareth Southgate’s Three Lions plans with the 2018 World Cup waiting patiently on the horizon. He has outscored several of his fellow English strikers within the Premier League in recent seasons, showing his class time and time again despite often operating in a distinctly ‘against-all-odds’ fashion.
Does such a revelation mean that Sunderland will no longer be able to retain the striker’s services once the January transfer window finally comes to an end? Perhaps…but as the player in question has now scored 150 Premier League goals since first bursting onto the scene as a fresh faced youngster several seasons ago, maybe England should at least consider the prospect of bringing Jermain Defoe back on board within the not too distant future.