Sunderland boss Sam Allardyce convinced by Jermain Defoe's ability to play as a lone striker

Sunderland striker Jermain Defoe has scored nine times in 17 appearances this season.

Sam Allardyce has told the Daily Mail that Sunderland striker Jermain Defoe has the capabilities to play as a lone striker.

Defoe’s best form has generally come when he has worked in tandem with another front man, but Allardyce has utilised him as a sole striker recently.

The 33-year-old has performed the role to great impact, and he scored twice in Sunderland’s 3-1 win over Aston Villa in their most recent outing.

And Allardyce said: “There has always been a belief that maybe Jermain can’t play up front on his own, but he’s done that a couple of times now and I’m more than willing to continue down that line. 

“If Jermain came to me and said, ‘It’s really not working for me up there on my own – you’ve got to stick someone up there with me’, that would be the only time I would consider not doing it.

“If he can carry on and continue being as good as he was last weekend, and certainly be as clinical as he was, then long may it last.”

Defoe has become Sunderland’s main man up front since Allardyce took charge, and his scoring form has been strong this season.

The England international may be reaching the twilight of his career, but his lethal finishing has still been showcased at the Stadium of Light.

Defoe has racked up nine goals in 17 games this term, putting him clear at the top of Sunderland’s scoring charts.

Allardyce will be relying on the former Tottenham Hotspur man to continue his good form, as he looks to guide his side away from trouble.

Sunderland are currently four points away from safety, and sit in 19th place in the Premier League table.

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