The Spurs boss has given the striker his full backing after rumours emerged over recent weeks that the 30-year-old could be sold to Queen’s Park Rangers in the January transfer window – to make way for an incoming striker.
But his managed dismissed the claims and insisted Defoe has the support and respect of everyone at White Hart Lane – he has netted an impressive 7 goals in 12 league appearances for the club this season, keeping summer signing Emmanuel Adebayor on the bench for the majority of the term so far.
“He is one of the best strikers I have worked with,” claimed Villas-Boas,
“I certainly put him alongside Falcao. His hunger for goal is extreme. That makes things easier for you to work with because you don’t have to teach a lot.”
Defoe was brought to North London by former Spurs boss Harry Redknapp who had encountered the English frontman at Portsmouth. Defoe had previous played for Tottenham for four years between 2004 and 2008 and returned to join his former manager in 2009.
He has been an asset to his country as well as his clubs – he’s made 52 senior international appearances for England and has scored 17 goals. In his total 142 appearances for Spurs, he’s scored 46 goals and has become a fans’ favourite and one of the most important first-team squad members.
Whilst Defoe has certainly proven himself as one of the most clinical finishers in the Premier League, I can’t honestly say I agree with his manager that he is one of the best in the world. I don’t think he has ever been, even at his peak, the best striker in England and the most anyone has paid for him was £15 million. The most he has ever accumulated in terms of a season’s goal tally was 18 in the 2009/10-league season.
In comparison Falcao is a 30-plus goals per season man these days – he scored 36 goals in all competitions for Athletico Madrid last season, preceded by 38 and 34 in his two full seasons at Porto. His value is minimally £40 million and he is certainly one of the most clinical finishers in the world – alongside the likes of Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Robin van Persie, and Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
Villas-Boas’ comments are likely a means to the end of further boosting the player’s self-confidence and, subsequently, form, which has been impressive this season so far. But the Portuguese manager should know better than to compare the likes of the two players – the only conclusion one can draw is that he must have seen something in training that the rest of the world has missed.
Jermaine Defoe is a very very good striker but he is not necessarily even the best striker at Tottenham Hotspur, never mind England or the continent – he’s just on form.
image: © p_a_h