Sunderland striker Jermain Defoe has re-signed for former club Bournemouth on a free transfer, following the Black Cats’ relegation from the Premier League.
The 34 year old scored 15 goals as Sunderland finished bottom of the Premier League and has activated a clause in his contract which allowed him to leave for free, in the instance of Sunderland not retaining their top-flight status.
Defoe reunites with Cherries manager Eddie Howe, with whom he played for Bournemouth in a fruitful loan spell in 2000-01, during which he scored 18 goals in 29 league appearances, including a spell in which he scored in ten consecutive matches.
The former Spurs frontman will be hoping to continue his goalscoring form in a world cup year, knowing that aside from Harry Kane, no striker can be truly sure of their place on the plane to Russia, should England qualify.
Defoe joined the Black Cats in January 2015 after a spell in the MLS and quickly became a fans favourite at the stadium of light as his goals fired them to safety, but fans hoping Defoe would stay with the North East club and help in their efforts to return to the Premier league at the first attempt are ultimately left disappointed.
The former Tottenham, Portsmouth, West Ham and Charlton player is seventh on the Premier League all-time goals list with 158 in 468 appearances. Another five goals will see him draw level with Robbie Fowler in sixth. After making his debut in 2004, Defoe has won 57 caps for England; scoring 20 goals, and has realistic dreams of making the plane to Russia next year should England qualify.
After a four-year exile from the national team, his form for Sunderland earned him a recall from Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate. Bournemouth fans will be hoping that at the age of 34, his form does not wane. He joins Callum Wilson, Benik Afobe, Josh King and Lys Mousset as strikers at Dean Court.
Defoe is Bournemouth’s second signing of the summer, following the arrival of Bosnian goalkeeper Asmir Begovic from Chelsea for an undisclosed fee, while defender Steve Cook has extended his stay. The Cherries finished ninth in the Premier League last term – their second season in the top flight.
Written by Sam Hanys.