Robbie Savage: Tottenham can win the title if they sign this player
By Harry Sykes
Pundit Robbie Savage believes Tottenham can win the title this season if they re-sign Jermain Defoe.
Tottenham have never won the Premier League, but have established themselves as a substantial challenger for the English crown in recent seasons.
They finished third in the league last term, having been toe-to-toe with winners Leicester ahead of a last-minute collapse, while they are currently seven points behind Chelsea following their midweek win over the league leaders.
But Savage admits that they could finally go the distance if they bring England striker Jermain Defoe back to White Hart Lane.
The former Derby and Leicester midfielder insists that Tottenham owe it to the fans to make amends for their shocking late collapse in last season’s title race, and to do that they must win it this year.
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In his column for the Mirror, he praised the quality of Tottenham’s squad, as well as the progressiveness of manager Mauricio Pochettino. However, he admitted they were still lacking in one area.
“The only way they can make up for that blow-out on the home straight would be to go on and win the title.
“And if they want to make a statement that they mean business, Spurs should go all-out to bring Jermain Defoe back to White Hart Lane for a third stint.
“They are going to need back-up for Harry Kane. If he was to suffer another injury, we have already seen that £22 million summer signing Vincent Janssen isn’t up to it as his replacement. Or not yet, at any rate.
“There is no point in making a massive £40-50 million bid for a marquee signing this month, because Europe’s top strikers will want to play in the Champions League – where Spurs needlessly came up short before Christmas.
“The fans would welcome Defoe back with open arms. Although he is 34, he is a proven goalscorer – 18 goals for a struggling Sunderland side last season and another 11 for the Black Cats so far this term.”
Sunderland have already made it clear they do not want to let Defoe leave the club this month, given their Premier League survival hopes ultimately hinge on Defoe scoring the goals to keep them afloat.
The Black Cats have already rejected a £6 million bid from West Ham, another of Defoe’s former clubs.
During his time at White Hart Lane, the 34-year-old scored 143 goals from 363 appearances in all competitions.
Football Insider verdict
Any club will have to do very well to prise Defoe away from Sunderland. If David Moyes lets him go, he’s effectively resigning the club to relegation. There’s no guarantee that Defoe will keep them up, but he’ll give it a right good go. Through countless years at Tottenham, Defoe was a fan-favourite, and had a proven track record for scoring important goals. Savage is correct to suggest that Vincent Janssen may not be up to scratch as a replacement for Harry Kane, and they do need a bit more competition in that position. Spurs are willing to throw big-money at players that may pay dividends, but Defoe would be a low-cost, low-risk option. Pochettino may consider a more long-term solution given his age, but he fits the bill more than many of their other reported targets do.
In other Tottenham news, Spurs are ready to table an offer to this defender.