Sunderland manager Sam Allardyce has labelled Jermain Defoe as one of the greatest goalscorers the Premier League has ever seen after the experienced striker was awarded a new three-year deal at the Stadium of Light, as quoted by the club's official website.
Defoe has been handed lengthy new terms by the Black Cats at the age of 33 after a superb individual season in which he was the star man for the struggling Wearside club.
The former England striker scored 18 goals in all competitions, including 15 in 33 top-flight appearances despite the club only narrowly avoiding relegation.
Defoe's goals either directly or indirectly earned the club 14 of their 39 points last season, and Allardyce hailed the veteran's professionalism and ability, describing him as one of the best strikers the Premier League has ever seen.
Allardyce told the club's website: "Jermain is one of the greatest goal-scorers in the history of the Premier League and is a player that every manager would want to have in their team.
"He proved that beyond doubt last season by scoring 15 league goals, he is in fantastic physical condition and we are very pleased that we have been able to extend his stay with us."
Defoe certainly has a great pedigree in the Premier League; in a 16-year professional career the striker has scored 143 goals in 428 top-flight matches for West Ham United, Tottenham Hotspur, Portsmouth and now Sunderland, a total which ranks him as the 11th most prolific player since 1992.
His new deal is set to see him remain at Sunderland until the age of 36, and his first task will be to prove that his superb season was not merely a flash in the pan.
If he can continue to consistently reproduce his excellent form over the next few years, the gamble of awarding him a new deal could prove to be a very shrewd move indeed for the Black Cats.