Former Chelsea and Manchester United midfielder Ray Wilkins suggested on the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast show on talkSPORT on Thursday morning (January 14) that Jermain Defoe will guide Sunderland to Premier League safety this season.
Defoe is Sunderland’s main striker and has been in good form recently. The 33-year-old scored a hat-trick on Wednesday evening, as the Black Cats won 4-2 against Swansea City away from home at the Liberty Stadium.
“If you have got a goalscorer, you have got half a chance of getting out,” said Wilkins. “Defoe did it when Gus Poyet brought him in. He kept them up. He will do it again because he is a goalscorer.”
Defoe joined Sunderland from Major League Soccer outfit Toronto FC in January 2015 and has a contract until June 2018.
The former Tottenham Hotspur striker scored four goals and created 13 chances in 17 Premier League appearances during the second half of last season.
So far this campaign, the Englishman has scored nine goals and created seven chances in 17 league games.
Sunderland are third from bottom in the Premier League table at the moment with 18 points from 21 matches, just a point behind 17th-placed Swansea.
Sam Allardyce’s side will return to league action this afternoon when they take on Tottenham away from home at White Hart Lane in North London.