David Sullivan uses Jermain Defoe to make a point about Dimitri Payet

West Ham co-owner says Sunderland are more dependent on Jermain Defoe than they are on Dimitri Payet.

David Sullivan has refuted suggestions the team are overly reliant on star man Dimitri Payet, insisting they have a number of key contributors.

Speaking to The Mail, Sullivan picked out Sunderland and Jermain Defoe, to illustrate a team which is dependent on the contributions of one particular player.

He said: "We are not a one-man team. You look at Sunderland and those goals from Jermain Defoe — and their survival is in his hands.

"You say Payet and, yes, he is our star, but I can say (Manuel) Lanzini, (Michail) Antonio, (Mark) Noble, (Cheikhou) Kouyate. We’ve just given Kouyate a new deal, even though he had more than four years on his last one."

The two players are different of course. Defoe is a striker and Payet a creative midfielder, with four goals separating them this season.

The difference is that West Ham have several players following Payet's goal tally of eight, while Defoe has eight more goals himself that the nearest Sunderland player Steven Fletcher, who has since been loaned to Marseille, and nine more than Fabio Borini.

  PositionTeamGoalsAppearancesMins Played
Jermain Defoe FW Sunderland 12 26 1,920
Dimitri Payet MF West Ham 8 23 1,952
Michail Antonio MF West Ham 6 18 1,342
Manuel Lanzini MF West Ham 5 18 1,278
Andy Carroll FW West Ham 4 19 845
Steven Fletcher FW Sunderland 4 16 1,016
Cheikhou Kouyaté MF West Ham 4 26 2,325
Diafra Sakho FW West Ham 4 15 1,135
Enner Valencia FW West Ham 4 14 940
Fabio Borini FW Sunderland 3 19 1,330

Defoe's goals show just what an important signing he has been for the Black Cats, and that the ex-West Ham striker has a lot more he is able to contribute in the top flight even if Sunderland suffer relegation this season.

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