Jermain Defoe: It was easy to pick Cherries and join Bournemouth from Sunderland

Jermain Defoe
Jermain Defoe
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Jermain Defoe says it was an ‘easy decision’ to join Bournemouth after completing his free transfer move from Sunderland.

The striker joined the Cherries, as expected, after they took advantage of a clause in his contract following Sunderland’s relegation from the Premier League.

The 34-year-old put pen to paper at the Vitality Stadium on a three-year deal.

Defoe spent time with the Cherries as a teenager, setting a club record of scoring in 10 consecutive league games while on loan from West Ham United.

And he says he jumped at the chance to return – and also to link up with Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe.

“It’s great to be back and I’m really looking forward to this challenge,” said Defoe.

“When the opportunity came about to return to AFC Bournemouth I just knew it was the right one.

“It was an easy decision, joining a top team with a top manager. It’s a great place to be.

“The Bournemouth fans know that every time I pull the shirt on I will give 100 per cent, and the one thing I can guarantee is goals.”

Defoe reinvigorated his career on Wearside after joining them from Toronto in January 2015 in a swap deal involving Jozy Altidore.

He scored 37 goals in 93 appearances for the Black Cats, including 15 last season as his form earned him a recall to the England squad, where he found the net on his return in the World Cup qualifier against Lithuania.

And Howe was delighted to have fought off competition from other Premier League clubs to land the former Tottenham Hotspur and Portsmouth man, despite his age.

Howe said: “This a huge moment for the football club and another step in the right direction.

“We want to bring players here who can have a big impact on our continued rise and we believe Jermain fits that as a natural, proven goal scorer.

“We have known him for a long time, since working with him as a young pro and playing with him.

“I have followed his career and am delighted to say he is going to be playing for AFC Bournemouth again.”

Defoe’s exit is the latest departure from the Stadium of Light, and leaves Sunderland short of strikers with Victor Anichebe having joined Chinese side Beijing Enterprises earlier this week after his contract expired.

Fabio Borini, meanwhile has undergone a medical at AC Milan ahead of his proposed move to the Serie A giants.

Borini is expected to complete a season-long loan, with Milan then making the £5.3million deal permanent.