What can we expect from Jermain Defoe if he returns to Bournemouth?
With next season’s English Premier League fixtures already having been released, the attention inevitably shifts to the transfer market as sides vie for the top available talent.
One early move that has been muted is Jermain Defoe’s possible return to Bournemouth, with the veteran striker already reported to have agreed personal terms. Defoe, who joined the Cherries on loan from West Ham United as an 18 year old in the 2000/01 season, accomplished the remarkable feat of scoring in 10 consecutive games.
The diminutive striker has gone on to have a distinguished career, being capped 57 times by England, while scoring 20 goals for the national side in the process. Defoe enjoyed two productive spells with Tottenham Hotspur but a move to the MLS in 2014 did suggest that his Premier League days might well be behind him. However, his stay in Toronto was somewhat short-lived and he returned to the Premier League in January 2015 when he signed for Sunderland.
Even though the Black Cats suffered relegation to the Championship in a disappointing campaign, Defoe may well feel that he did his utmost to preserve their top-flight status, being directly involved in 17 of their 29 league goals.
By comparison, Bournemouth scored 55 goals to finish in the top half of the table, so what can fantasy football managers expect from Defoe, assuming that his transfer is confirmed before the start of the new season?
Well, despite featuring 29 times for Bournemouth during that loan spell, the South Coast club, who were in the 3rd tier of English football at the time, have certainly experienced some drastic changes since Defoe last plied his trade. Dean Court, which is now known as the Vitality Stadium, was completely rebuilt in 2001 and the Cherries did drop into the 4th tier of English football for a season before bouncing straight back.
However, the club have experienced a remarkable turnaround in their fortunes of late that has coincided with some impressive partnership deals including one with Mansion, an online casino company, where you can play online blackjack without deposit and various other games.
This will be their 3rd season in the Premier League and expectations are understandably high. Competitions for places in the Cherries’ attack will be much fiercer than what the ex-Portsmouth striker faced during his stay on Wearside though. Benik Afobe and Joshua King, one of the breakout fantasy football stars of the 2016/17 season, offer manager Eddie Howe plenty of striking options, while Callum Wilson should return to action in October, following his latest injury setback.
Defoe missed just one Premier League game all season, comfortably dispelling any fitness concerns that may have surrounded him. He is expected to assume penalty kick-taking responsibility at Bournemouth, having converted all 5 of the spot-kicks he took for Sunderland last season and that certainly adds to his fantasy appeal. An opening day fixture against West Bromwich Albion awaits a team that used 5 different penalty takers in 2016/17. It will be fascinating to see if Defoe is among their ranks for that one and whether ‘The Pocket Rocket’ can deliver yet again!