Gary Rowell column - Sunderland needed a poacher like Defoe

Jermain Defoe
Jermain Defoe
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WELL before the January transfer window opened, Gus Poyet was crying out for a natural goalscorer and with the signing of Jermain Defoe, he’s now got one.

Whether Defoe turns out to be the right one, only time will tell, but he’s proved over the years that he’s a clinical finisher and with only Aston Villa scoring fewer goals than Sunderland this season, we desperately need him to get on the scoresheet regularly.

Defoe is the sort of striker who lives for hitting the back of the net and can be single-minded, and almost obsessive, in his pursuit of scoring goals.

But that’s not a criticism.

Kevin Phillips was a similar type in that winning is not enough. He also needed the adrenaline rush of scoring goals and plenty of them.

If the Spurs game is anything to go by, it looks as if Poyet is prepared to change his tactics to accommodate Defoe by playing two up top and that might not be a bad thing if it gives us more attacking options.

Any transfer signing is a gamble and the capture of Defoe is no different, especially as he’s been away from the Premier League for a year, and at 32, will have little or no resale value.

But Poyet will feel it’s a gamble worth taking if Defoe can do for Sunderland what he’s done all through his career and fire in the goals that keep us in the Premier League.