Sunderland fans are delighted at the news that Jermain Defoe has signed a new deal

Jermain Defoe scores the first goal for Sunderland from the penalty spot

The 33-year-old was awarded an extended three-year contract on Thursday.

Sunderland's Jermain Defoe

Sunderland have rewarded Jermain Defoe for his superb individual season this term by handing the experienced striker a new three-year contract.

At the age of 33 Defoe enjoyed his most successful campaign in recent years by netting 18 goals in all competitions for a struggling Black Cats side.

That form did not earn him a recall to the England side for Euro 2016 squad, but it has persuaded the Wearside club to award him new terms even though he still had two years left of his previous contract.

The new deal ties the former Three Lions international to the Stadium of Light until 2019, at which time he will be 36 and surely in the very twilight of his career.

Jermain Defoe scores the first goal for Sunderland from the penalty spot

The move could be seen as a big gamble for a club perennially battling relegation, but Defoe was a priceless player for Sunderland this season and deserves to have faith shown in him to continue his resurgence.

Certainly, the club's supporters don't seem concerned about the striker's advancing age, with the former Tottenham Hotspur man arguably in some of the best form of his career last season.

In fact, the reaction on Twitter was overwhelmingly positive as Black Cats fans celebrate the proven goalscorer's decision to commit his long-term future.

Jermain Defoe celebrates after scoring the third goal for Sunderland

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