Why going for Defoe was always a No-No

Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Dom Le Roy

From the current point in time in which I am writing this article, it looks like Jermain Defoe is about to sign for Sunderland on an eye-watering £70K a week deal which puts paid to any romantic press stories about a third return for JD to White Hart Lane where he spent so many happy years as a player. Granted, Spurs had allowed JD to train with the development squad but honestly I don’t believe there was ever a chance of Defoe re-signing with Spurs again, despite the history he has with our wonderful club.

There are pros to bringing him back admittedly; He would offer us something different up front. Even though Harry Kane is quicker than we ever gave him credit for, JD is faster and would give the opportunity for a small man up front either playing alongside, behind or in front of Kane which could suit Poch’s system of high tempo passing football. Also, an extra striker could mean the chance to give Kane a rest now and again. Don’t get me wrong, he is playing incredibly well at the moment and I want him on the pitch as much as any Spurs fan but the risk of burnout is always a fear and the last thing anyone wants is for Harry to pick up any injury and to miss the rest of the season.

If I am honest though, that’s where the pros end and where the cons begin. First things first, £70,000 a week for JD’s wages? Spurs weren’t paying him that when he was in his prime, let alone now he is 32 years old. Therefore, if he was to come to Spurs, he would have to expect a fraction of that sum that would come nowhere near the amount. The next con for JD is playing time. I do not see him getting many games at Spurs like he would for Sunderland for example as Poch tends to only play one striker anyway whereas sides lower down the table need more attacking options to try and fire their way out of trouble. Being honest, would you start JD ahead of Kane? Of course not. Would you start him ahead of Altidore for Sunderland? Definitely.

The fact is, despite his 5th place in our all time highest goalscorers list, Defoe was never actually as prolific as many people believed he was for Spurs. I know that sounds a bit ridiculous but over 11 seasons for Tottenham, his goal average (including cup competitions) is just under 13 goals a season. That isn’t an awful average but is it really good enough for a side that want to be playing in the Champions league every week? I have always been a fan of Defoe but he was never really out and out first choice striker for the club for a fair few seasons he was here, no matter who the manager was. Martin Jol preferred Keane and Berbatov, Redknapp liked Adebayor hence why Defoe developed a reputation as being an impact substitute as he was not often a starter for Tottenham.

To conclude, I am sure that JD should be remembered in the Tottenham annuls as one of our top marksmen but it would be wrong for all parties to bring him back to WHL on sentimentality. Tottenham need a higher quality striker and JD needs more playing time since he is now in the twilight years of his career. No doubt he will score against Tottenham if he does sign for a Premiership side but I just believe that funds could be better used elsewhere, rather than bringing back a former hero just to sit on the bench and be a squad member.

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