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ESPN FC ran a fascinating survey on whether their blogger for each Premier League club – Monsieur Salut does the honours for Sunderland with occasional stand-ins by Mr Sixsmith (think Colin Todd on the bench for Gareth Hall and you get the picture) – would buy Jermain Defoe and if yes, what they’d pay.
The brands – so many of whose supporters find it a struggle to locate “their” club by pointing to a map – all voted the same way: No.
Everyone else, save for West Brom, jumped at the idea.
So no room – hooray – at Chelsea, Liverpool, Man City, Arsenal, Tottenham , Manchester United or even WBA (‘a proven scorer in the Premier League, but simply wouldn’t suit the way we set up and play’.
Everyone else would have him, paying between £5m and £12m – why does age count if a player is as good, as sharp and as fit as Jermain?
SUNDERLAND: NOT FOR SALE
Defoe’s goals have transformed Sunderland’s survival hopes, and fans will rightly judge David Moyes on how hard he fights to keep him, with not even a £25m fee enough in the absence of a guarantee — itself unlikely — of top-quality replacements. Worth: my view correctly interpreted by ESPN as Not For Sale.
The Chelsea blogger Mark Worrall wrote:
He may be Zlatan Ibrahimovic-like in respect to his age-defying scoring prowess, but he would be little more than bench fodder at Chelsea, with Diego Costa light-years ahead of him. Worth: a lot to Sunderland. Zero value to Chelsea
My response, from memory since it keeps disappearing from view when I go back to the ESPN article: Here’s an easy translation of the Chelsea writer’s view that Costa is light years ahead of Defoe: one has 14 goals and five assists, in a team bursting with talent in every position. The other has 11 goals and two assists in a team that gets dizzy whenever it rises from bottom place. For light years, read a few seconds.
And in my preview of Saturday’s cup match against Burnley, I said this:
Sunderland yet again find themselves in deep trouble at the bottom of the league. But manager David Moyes has recovered from a terrible start to the season. The possibility of moving from the drop zone to lower mid-table, a tall order given a crop of injuries to key players, no longer seems a fantasy.
For survival to remain a viable target, Moyes has to persuade Sunderland owner Ellis Short to part with more money in the transfer window, if only to provide cover in areas left sorely depleted by those injuries. Wheeling and dealing may be inevitable, if funds are as scarce as has been indicated.
But there should be red lines: West Ham’s interest in Jermain Defoe, among the league’s top scorers with 11 goals, has been laughable in terms of the £6 million fee offered.
The Moyes/Short line, even if it is true they have been asked to name their price, must be to resist any sale at all if they truly want Sunderland to stay up — and to retain the respect of supporters.
Nothing would please those fans more this weekend than for Defoe to announce he has no wish to leave the club, before taking the field at the Stadium of Light as a late substitute to score the winner against Burnley.
Ha’way the Lads and let’s pray the Lads include JD come the closing of the window.