8. Jermain Defoe – Sunderland
At 34 years old Jermain Defoe is a veteran of the Premier League. He has bagged the goals over the last 17 years for West Ham, Tottenham, Portsmouth and Sunderland. With a 157 strikes to his name he currently ranks 7th in all time Premier League scorers. If there were an EPL Hall of Fame then he would be in it!
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His record is exceptional on its own but is even more remarkable when you consider he was not always first choice when at West Ham and Tottenham. That barely seems plausible now but teams used to stock up on strikers in a way they now do with attacking midfielders.
While being a pacy forward he has not built his career by being a typical speedster. Rather his reputation has been built on clever movement and deadly finishing. He combines quick decisive actions with power and accuracy. A specialist at surprising goalkeepers with sudden, early shots. He only needs a half chance to grab a goal. Which is fortunate for him as half chances at Sunderland is all you get!
His record in a single Premier League season is 18 set for Spurs in 2009/10. He currently sits on 14 for this term with 11 games left to play. I wouldn’t bet against this being a career year for him. Without his contributions this season Sunderland would have just 10 goals to their name. They would be relegated already. As one of the top strikers in the league Defoe gives them hope they can avoid relegation for another year.