Jermaine Defoe signed one-year contract extension at Sunderland
Published 09/06/2016 | 16:41
Jermain Defoe has extended his stay at Sunderland until 2019 after his goals helped to keep the club in the Barclays Premier League.
The Black Cats confirmed on Thursday that the 33-year-old striker has signed a one-year contract extension, his reward for a remarkable return of 18 goals in all competitions last season in a side which struggled for much of the campaign.
Manager Sam Allardyce said: "Jermain is one of the greatest goalscorers 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's 15 league goals, the last of which was a priceless winner in a 3-2 victory over Chelsea in the penultimate game of the season, were the major individual contribution during a campaign in which the club once again flirted with relegation only to drag itself back from the brink at the death.
His club form even prompted a clamour for him to to be included in Roy Hodgson's England squad for the Euro 2016 finals, although with Harry Kane, Jamie Vardy and Marcus Rashford available to him, Hodgson opted not to call him up.
Defoe has resurrected his career on Wearside since returning to English football from Major League Soccer, where his brief stay with Toronto simply served to remind him of what he enjoyed about the Premier League.
He arrived at the Stadium of Light in a swap deal with United States international Jozy Altidore in January last year, and although the system favoured by former boss Dick Advocaat did little to bring the best out of him, he has prospered under Allardyce, for whom he has played much of his football as a lone striker despite his diminutive stature.
Asked recently about the deal which brought Defoe to Sunderland, Allardyce said: "He scored two goals in two years didn't he, Altidore, somebody told me? So that was a good swap, that was a good deal, wasn't it?"