Jermain Defoe signs for Sunderland in Jozy Altidore swap deal
Sunderland, 10/3 with Coral to be relegated, have signed ex-England striker Jermain Defoe in a swap deal, that see USA international target man Jozy Altidore join MLS franchise Toronto.
The 32-year-old has signed a three-and-a-half-year deal with the Black Cats, while American flop Altidore, who has scored one Premier League goal in 42 appearances on Wearside, leaves the Stadium of Light for Canada.
“I felt so sharp. All that hard work has paid off. I can’t wait to start scoring goals for Sunderland,” said Defoe after joining in Sunderland training during midweek.
“Everybody knows how much I love English football and I still feel that I have a lot to offer. People might look at my age, but I have always looked after myself and I hope I can show that with my performances.”
Defoe joins a Black Cats attack which also contains fellow ex-England teammate Adam Johnson, Young Lions forward Connor Wickham and Scotland frontman Steven Fletcher.
Gus Poyet’s side are the second-lowest Premier League scorers (18) ahead of Aston Villa, and Sunderland sit just one point and two places above the bottom three.
Defoe, who has netted 124 English top-flight goals, was training with former club Spurs, and the Black Cats hope he will receive international clearance in time to make his debut against his old side in their next outing.
Only 13 players have scored more times in the Premier League than Defoe, including fellow ex-Tottenham front men Les Ferdinand and Teddy Sheringham.
Steven Caldwell, the Toronto captain and former Sunderland defender, has backed Defoe to be a success on his return to England. “He’s the type of player who will score goals anywhere, at any level,” Caldwell said.
“Keep him on the park, keep him fit and give him opportunities. He knows where the net is and he’s proved that. He’s still very fit, he’s a forward that thrives on chances.”
Defoes also counts Portsmouth and West Ham United, 9/2 for a top six finish, among his former clubs.