Jermain Defoe is arguably up there with Didier Drogba as the striker of the season so far, he has hit 15 goals already, 12 at club level and 3 important goals at international level, so it’s crazy to think that Jermain Defoe was once deemed surplus to requirements at White Hart Lane and sold to Portsmouth in January 2008.
Defoe has always been a player of massive promise, when he was sent on loan by Harry Redknapp to Bournemouth for the 00-01 season he scored 18 goals in 29 appearances. He returned to West Ham and became a goal scoring hero, scoring a memorable header at Old Trafford to hand West Ham a 1-0 win over Man Utd in 2001 and when he left West Ham he had scored 45 goals in 105 League and Cup games.
Linked with a move to Man Utd after handing in a transfer request following West Ham’s relegation at the end of the 02-03 season, Defoe began the 2003-04 season at Upton Park but was clearly unhappy with his situatuion and the Hammers finally agreed to let him go during the January transfer window in 2004.
After a 4 year spell at Spurs which yielded 61 goals he was sold to Portsmouth after he fell behind Darren Bent, Dimitar Berbatov and Robbie Keane in the pecking order but he returned to White Hart Lane in good form a year later and this season it appears the added incentive of a place at the World Cup has taken his performances to another level.
Defoe has never been slack in front of goal but he has been in sensational form grabbing goals at any chance with a hat trick against Hull, an acrobatic effort against Man Utd in the first minute and a spectacular 5 goals against Wigan. On the international front his 2 goals from the bench against Holland saved England from an embarrassing defeat and his 63rd minute effort against Slovenia proved to be the match winner.
People have always picked fault with his size but the fact he has a knack of scoring and is currently scoring proves that it may not be as big a problem as previously envisaged as he is comes out on top in battles against some of the best the Premier League has to offer.
His work with Clive Allen and Les Ferdinand is paying dividends as there is a sharpness and focus to his game now that had only been present in spurts previously. A place at the World Cup appears to be his to lose as he sits atop of the Premier League’s top goal scoring chart alongside Didier Drogba.
Defoe is maturing as a person as well as a footballer and is reaping the benefits on field along with Tottenham who sit in 3rd place in the league and although there is a long way to go until May, if Defoe can continue scoring who is to say that they won’t be amongst the top 4 when the season ends?
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