Jermain Defoe releases emotional statement after Sunderland exit confirmed

Defoe's departure was confirmed on Thursday afternoon
Defoe's departure was confirmed on Thursday afternoon
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Jermain Defoe has thanked Sunderland's 'amazing' fans after his switch to Bournemouth was confirmed.

Defoe has signed a three year deal on the South Coast with manager Eddie Howe describing it as a 'huge moment' for the club.

The player himself issued an emotional statement to the Sunderland support and said the highlights of his time on Wearside were his famous derby day volley against Newcastle and walking out with Bradley Lowery against Everton.

He said: "I'd like to thank all the Sunderland fans for their support and everyone else involved with the football club. I had an amazing time with so many great memories. I'm going to miss so many people at the club from the canteen staff and the chef to the laundry girls and the cleaners who always made the boys smile no matter what.

"I feel blessed to have played for such a great football club with some of the best fans I've ever come across. The highlight of my time has to be walking out with Bradley against Everton and that volley against Newcastle - a goal people still come up and talk to me about!!

"I want to wish everyone at Sunderland the best for the future. There's some talented players there and some great youngsters pushing through, so I can't wait to see you back in the Premier League.

"I'm looking forward to my new challenge and can't wait to get started at AFC Bournemouth."