‘Jermain Defoe would be welcome back at West Ham’, says pundit

Jermain Defoe: Strong interest in January

Jermain Defoe: Strong interest in January

Tony Cottee has urged Sunderland striker Jermain Defoe to return to West Ham and win doubting fans around with his goals.

The Hammers have reportedly had a bid for their former player turned down by the Black Cats, though today’s papers suggest the Hammers are willing to spend up to £15million to be reunited with their old player.

Defoe joined West Ham as a 16-year-old in 1999 and was a big hit with fans until he handed in a transfer request within 24 hours of the club’s relegation from the Premier League in 2003. He joined Tottenham the following year.

Defoe took his goal tally for the season to 11 with two penalties in Monday’s 2-2 Premier League draw with Liverpool and appears vital to the Black Cats’ survival hopes.

The 34-year-old was booed when West Ham met Sunderland at the London Stadium in October.

However, Cottee thinks the Hammers fans would quickly take to the striker again, even if some may not want to see him return.

The 51-year-old, who played nearly 300 games for the Hammers in two spells and – like Defoe – has also represented England, said: “Once he’s scored his first goal for the club we’ll be singing his name.

“It’s important West Ham get a goalscorer in now because we want to move up.”

On Defoe’s initial departure from Upton Park, Sky Sports News pundit Cottee added: “I think he was poorly advised, I do believe that.”