Former Sunderland forward Jermaine Defoe has returned to his former club Bournemouth on a free transfer. The 34-year old, who scored 15 league goals last season, has penned down a three-year contract with Bournemouth following the relegation of Sunderland.
The former Tottenham, Portsmouth, West Ham and Charlton striker is seventh on the Premier League all-time goals list having found the net 158 times in 468 appearances. Cherries manager Eddie Howe believes Defoe returning to the club is a “huge moment” for them. Defoe joined Sunderland in January 2015 after spending little time in Toronto and signed a contract extension until 2019.
His contract had a clause that would allow him to leave on a free transfer if Sunderland were relegated, which he was able to act upon when the Black Cats finished bottom last season. He made his England debut in 2004 and featured at the 2010 World Cup, but has not been seen playing for the national side between 2013 and 2017. His brilliant performance last campaign earned him a recall to Gareth Southgate’s side, and he scored his 20th international goal against Lithuania in a World Cup qualifier in March.
Defoe happens to be Bournemouth’s second signing of the summer, following the arrival of goalkeeper Asmir Begovic from the defending champions, Chelsea. “Our plan is to bring in players who can impact our squad positively and we believe Defoe is capable of doing that as a brilliant goal scorer,” added Howe whose side finished ninth in the Premier League last season.