Sunderland striker Jermain Defoe explains that Ian Wright was his idol

The former Tottenham hero had an Arsenal legend to look up to when he was younger.

Sunderland striker Jermain Defoe might be a name synonymous to Tottenham Hotspur, but it turns out his hero growing up was that of a player better known for his exploits at North London rivals Arsenal.

Defoe is preparing to face his former team West Ham with Sunderland this afternoon and has done a number of interviews considering his Hammers past.

When he was starting out at West Ham former Arsenal record goalscorer Ian Wright was winding down his career during a spell with West Ham.

Speaking to the official Sunderland website yesterday the former Spurs striker, who had two separate spells at White Hart Lane, explained himself:

“The likes of Ian Wright, who was my idol at the time, and Trevor Sinclair were there and they were great characters. Everyone was together and the youth team could go into the first-team changing room and sit and talk to the players which really helped me.

“As I mentioned before Ian Wright was there at the time and used to stay after training and do finishing with him which was the dream. I had great moments and I will never forget them.”

Of course his admiration for Wright would certainly explain his love for scoring goals, heaps of them.

Sunderland certainly need him to start hitting the net for them soon. The Black Cats sit at the foot of the Premier League table with just two points from their opening seven games of the season.

Defoe is certainly proving to be their biggest goal threat. He has five goals in seven games this season but has not scored in the league since August.

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch