Sam Allardyce has told the Chronicle that there is no point worrying about whether Sunderland will be able to keep hold of Jermain Defoe.
The England international has netted 15 goals this season, putting him at the top of the Black Cats’ scoring charts by some distance.
Sunderland would likely have been relegated if they did not have Defoe in their side, but the 33-year-old’s excellent form has led to murmurings that he could yet earn himself a move.
Despite Defoe’s advancing years, he does not seem to have lost his killer touch and he would be a valuable addition for most teams in England’s top flight.
Allardyce insists that he is not scared of losing Defoe, though, as his plan is actually to find a striker to partner him in the summer transfer window.
“There is no point in even thinking about losing him,” Allardyce said. “It is more about finding somebody else for him to play with, who can score as many goals as he does.”
Defoe has scored a host of important goals for Sunderland since arriving at the Stadium of Light back at the start of 2015, but none have been more crucial than his strike against Chelsea last weekend.
Defoe scored the winner as Sunderland came from 2-1 down to claim a victory against Guus Hiddink’s side.
The win over Chelsea has put Sunderland to within touching distance of safety, with Allardyce’s men currently in 17th place in the Premier League table.
The Black Cats can secure their top flight status for another year if they are able to beat Everton on Wednesday evening.