Tim Sherwood believes Jermain Defoe could be the man to score the goals Sunderland desperately need in their fight against relegation.
Writing in his column for the Independent, the former Tottenham manager says that manager Gus Poyet has signed a player who is guaranteed to score Premier League goals, given he has 124 of them to his name already.
Defoe joined the Black Cats from Canadian side Toronto FC earlier this week, with USA forward Jozy Altidore heading in the opposite direction. The American leaves having failed yet again to cut the mustard in the Premier League.
“With Sunderland’s survival in the Premier League by no means a given, it is telling that Gus has turned to a striker whom he has worked with before and whom he knows can score goals in the Premier League,” said Sherwood.
“In his situation, the fewer risks he takes, the better.”
The former Tottenham midfielder believes the North East club have signed a forward who has all the attributes of a great striker, and one that is already proven in the league. That could prove vital in the fight against relegation.
“Jermain has the basics of a great striker: strength, pace and two good feet,” he said.
“One of his chief skills was being able to work an opportunity on the edge of the area. He had sharp feet which would allow him to steal a yard on a defender and get a shot away with minimal back-lift.”
The pundit also believes that the striker being given a three-year contract is proof of his quality - but that Defoe will be keen to prove a point regardless, because that is the type of player he is.
“There are not many strikers of his age getting three-year deals either, a sign of his quality,” added Sherwood.
“I would also say that going to a club in the north for the first time in his career means that he is out of his usual London comfort zone. It would suggest that he has a real eagerness to play.”