By Tom Blackburn
Former Tottenham favourite Jermain Defoe is hoping to match goal tally last season as he sets his sights on joining an elite scoring club.
The former Tottenham and West Ham striker scored 15 league goals for Sunderland in 2015-16 and was the key player in their escape from relegation.
Another 15-goal season would take Defoe beyond 150 Premier League goals, a feat matched by an elite club of only 10 players.
“It’d be special because Les [Ferdinand], Michael Owen, Teddy Sheringham, these are players I looked up to growing up,” Defoe said, as quoted by the Newcastle Chronicle.
“I remember when I was at Lilleshall, young, watching Michael score that goal at the World Cup (against Argentina in 1998) at 18, and all the goals he scored in the Premier League.
“Big names, so to go past them would be special. One hundred and fity league goals, that’d be special.
“Even as a kid at West Ham, I always wanted to play in the Premier League and score goals. I used to watch other forwards. That’s all I wanted to do, play and score goals.
“So hopefully I can get those seven goals quickly. For me personally, it’d be a great achievement.
“I know Les Ferdinand got 149, got one taken away from him.
“So to score 150 would be special because if you look at the list of players in there, there are some unbelievable players. If I do it I’ll text Les.”
Sunderland announced on their website in June that Defoe, 33, has now penned a deal until the summer of 2019.
Defoe joined Sunderland from Toronto FC in 2014 in a swap deal with Jozy Altidore, and has since gone on to score 22 goals in 53 appearances.
He was voted Supporters’ Player of the Year last month and finished as the third highest English goal-scorer in the 2015-16 Premier League season, behind Harry Kane and Jamie Vardy.
The form came as a surprise to a player who in 2014 left Tottenham for Toronto, with most people expecting the four year deal would be the end of his exceptional career.
Defoe had two separate spells at Spurs, scoring a total of 90 goals in 274 league games.
In other Tottenham news, they are expected to leave a forward out and line up in a 4-2-3-1 formation against Everton.