Wise Men Say: Selling Defoe would crush spirit of Sunderland fans

Jermain Defoe.
Jermain Defoe.
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Transfer windows are rarely pleasant if you’re a Sunderland fan.

We’re generally rubbish at them, culminating in this January’s massively rubbish transfer window in which we’re struggling to find a penny for the meter to keep the fax machine going.

I think most of us have rationalised the situation and we know that to strengthen the squad, not necessarily guaranteed given our past spending record, we’re probably going to have to sell first to clear the wage bill up a touch.

Lamine Kone seems to be the generally accepted sacrificial lamb, following on from his antics last summer and his patchy form this season.

Jordan Pickford is also the one on people’s lips, reluctantly so I might add.

However, not one person has ever entertained the idea of selling Jermain Defoe.

In the last couple of days, West Ham has followed up their interest in Defoe with an actual bid.

Go over to your bookshelf, open the dictionary and go to the ‘D’ section. Find the word ‘derisory’. There you will find the amount of money West Ham offered Sunderland for Jermain Defoe.

£6million is the figure on the table. You might sell the toenail clippings on his left foot and chuck in free postage and packaging as a goodwill gesture for that amount of money. Absolutely laughable.

On a serious note, I wouldn’t sell Jermain Defoe for £250million at the moment.

I’m a fan. I don’t go to games and talk to the people around me about what good business the club are doing.

Aside from the obvious affinity to the club I go to be entertained, though that is only occasional. I go for the memories and the moments a special player might give you every now and then.

There are a few people I know that never got to see Quinn and Phillips in their prime. It was a privilege to witness some of the moments that side created and Jermain Defoe is as important as those players to a new generation of supporters.

I know we’re often hoodwinked in this department, but it genuinely feels as though Jermain Defoe has bought into the club and the area.

He’s proud to represent Sunderland AFC. He is our talisman and he’s worth more to us than money can buy.

In selling someone like Jermain Defoe, you crush the spirit of the supporters. You rip the heart out of the team and, in some ways, the football club.

Of course, no player is bigger than the club, as the old cliché goes. That is very true.

However, at the moment we need Jermain Defoe. We need the goals he’ll score to probably keep us in the Premier League, including those hotly debated (why?) penalties.

We need the fear he creates in an opposition defence by just being in the starting XI.

Arguably most importantly, and for our sanity, we need the hope and smiles he brings to 40,000 people at the Stadium of Light every other week.

* The Wise Men Say podcast is available from every Monday, with SAFC debate from a variety of guests and post-match reaction from David Moyes. You can stream it direct from wisemensay.co.uk or subscribe to it on iTunes