Allardyce’s reported arrival places question marks over Sunderland's Jermain Defoe

Where would Jermain Defoe fit in at Sunderland under Sam Allardyce?

According to latest reports from The Sun, Sam Allardyce is set to join Sunderland following positive talks with owner Ellis Short over the past 48 hours.

Allardyce’s imminent arrival with the Black Cats will provide a timely boost ahead of the return to Premier League action next week, with his record at keeping teams up phenomenal.

Bolton Wanderers, Blackburn Rovers and West Ham United have all benefitted from his work, and his blueprint to survival has been documented and used by Tony Pulis among others.

The 60-year-old adopts a hardworking approach with plenty of emphasis on team shape, an organised defensive unit and of course real attention to detail on dead-ball situations.

However, Allardyce has been called upon for his team’s style of play and he likes to operate with a certain type of player, especially his strikers who in the past have held similar attributes.

The likes of Kevin Davies, Jason Roberts, Carlton Cole, Andy Carroll and Diafra Sakho have all starred under Allardyce’s guidance, and there is hope Sunderland’s Steven Fletcher could likewise prosper.

However, one man who could on the other hand suffer is current first-team regular Jermain Defoe.

The 33-year-old has started six Premier League games this season, but in years gone by a small, poacher type striker has never been a part of the Allardyce blueprint for survival.

With Fletcher and Jeremain Lens at his disposal, Allardyce will most likely adopt a striking partnership formed around these two with Fabio Borini and Ola Toivonen joining them in some capacity.

Defoe, however, has backed Allardyce for the job, telling the Mirror: "Sam is a good guy. He got a lot of stick, at one point I thought he could be in trouble but he’s a strong character, he has always been a strong character and he’s a good manager, experienced, he knows the game."

Will Defoe’s comments boost his chances of first-team football under the former Hammers’ boss? It remains to be seen but it’s looking like being a tough ask for the striker.

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