'In a heartbeat'; West Ham fans discuss re-signing Jermain Defoe

West Ham fans celebrate after the Carabao Cup Fourth Round match between Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham United at Wembley Stadium on October 25, 2017 in London, England.

14 years after he left, Bournemouth striker Jermain Defoe has been discussing a potential return to Premier League side West Ham United.

6 Feb 2002:  Jermain Defoe of West Ham United celebrates his goal during the AXA sponsored FA Cup fourth round replay match between West Ham United and Chelsea played at Upton Park, in...

There are ways to leave a club with respect and dignity and Jermain Defoe probably fell short in both departments back in 2003.

Almost immediately after West Ham United were relegated from the Premier League, the then-20-year-old striker handed in a transfer request. And even though he stayed for another half a year, Defoe didn’t do his legacy much good by signing for bitter London rivals Tottenham Hotspur.

Though, 15 years on, Defoe obviously feels this is now water under the bridge.

"If I ever sign for West Ham again, of course they will forgive me,” the 35-year-old told the Express.

Jermain Defoe of AFC Bournemouth shows appreciation to the fans prior to the Premier League match between Everton and AFC Bournemouth at Goodison Park on September 23, 2017 in Liverpool,...

“I thought it was going to happen when I was at Sunderland. In my last year at Sunderland I got a call and there was some interest. On social media literally all the West Ham fans were like ‘come back, come back’.”

Suddenly, that speculation has returned on the back of a disappointing year at Bournemouth in which Defoe scored just four times in 26 games. Sky Bet have even made West Ham 3/1 favourites to sign the former England international.

The Hammers could certainly do with an instinctive, wily goalscorer like Defoe, who showed during his prolific spell in a struggling Sunderland side that he has still got the ability to hit the net at the top level.

Jermain Defoe of Sunderland celebrates scoring his team's third goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Sunderland and Chelsea at the Stadium of Light on May 7, 2016 in...

But is Defoe right? Would fans welcome him back with open arms?

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch