Sunderland went through a lot of changes this off-season; most notably Sam Allardyce leaving to take on the England National team resulting in the Black Cats appointing David Moyes as their new manager.
Several players have also left the Stadium of Light, and Moyes now has only 21 senior footballers in his squad. He’s set to bring in a few new players, but one thing is for sure, and that’s the fact that Jermain Defoe will be essential to whatever Sunderland hope to achieve this season.
The 33-year-old striker scored 15 goals in the Premier League last year and is the only traditional centre-forward in the squad at the moment.
Regardless of any new signings Moyes brings in, Defore is likely again to be Sunderland’s pivotal player throughout the new season.
The New Era At The Stadium of Light
Sunderland barely avoided relegation last season, and they could find themselves struggling in another campaign this time around. The new manager has to strengthen his squad with some quality players to stay well above the danger zone, in spite of the fact that he has one of the most prolific Premier League strikers in his team.
Defoe currently only has Fabio Borini, Jeremain Lens, and Duncan Watmore providing assistance up front, and a couple of new creative arrivals are likely to be required for assists if the man with over 150 Premier League goals is to stand a chance of hitting decent numbers again this season.
Moyes’ preferred formation of 4-2-3-1 means that Defoe will be alone up front, and with enough quality distribution from the wings, he could easily score 15 to 20 goals this year. His clinical finishing, composure and excellent anticipation have troubled defenders in England’s top flight for over a decade.
Moyes has already gone about ensuring that he secures a good finish in the English top flight with players who can support Defoe, showing interest in bringing in some of the players he used to coach such as Marouane Fellaini and Adnan Januzaj.
Micah Richards is reportedly close to moving from Aston Villa, and last season’s loanee Yann M’Vila has admitted he would like to come back to the Stadium of Light from Rubin Kazan.
Defoe would be pleased to see some of these names arrive in the North East, and should be a real leader of the team with his experience and influence. His ability to torture opposing goalkeepers from inside and outside the penalty box is amazing, and despite being past his prime, Defoe remains one of the best finishers in the country.