Slaven Bilic warns West Ham players about Sunderland's 'very sharp' Jermain Defoe

Slaven Bilic has praised Sunderland striker Jermain Defoe.

West Ham United manager Slaven Bilic has told The Mirror that his players must be wary of Sunderland striker Jermain Defoe this afternoon.

Sunderland travel down to East London for a vital game in their battle against relegation, and much of the focus has been surrounding manager Sam Allardyce, and his return to Upton Park just eight months after leaving West Ham.

However, there is another Sunderland face making a return to former club West Ham, as striker Jermain Defoe takes on the Hammers.

Defoe, now 33, started his career as a youngster with West Ham, hitting 41 goals in 105 games before moving on to spells with Tottenham Hotspur (twice), Portsmouth, Toronto and now Sunderland.

With 13 goals to his name in all competitions this season, Defoe is Sunderland's top goalscorer, and will pose a threat to his former employers at Upton Park today.

Now, West Ham manager Slaven Bilic has told The Mirror that Defoe is Sunderland's most important player going forward, and has been a great finished throughout his career.

Bilic ultimately warned his players to keep a close eye on a 'very sharp' Defoe, as the Croatian will be well aware of what Defoe could do if he gets a chance in front of goal.

"The most important player for them up front is Jermain Defoe. He’s still very sharp, still very quick," said Bilic. "He was always a great finisher and is doing that again now," he added.

Is Defoe Sunderland's danger man today?

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