Friday, April 16, 2021

Defoe’s mum decisive factor in Bournemouth return


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Jermain Defoe

England striker Jermain Defoe admitted his mind was made up about a return to Premier League side Bournemouth when he saw his mother’s reaction.

The 34-year-old scored 19 goals, including in a club record 10 successive matches, during his previous spell at the then third-tier club on loan from West Ham United in 2000/2001.

He told Bournemouth’s TV station he had always hoped to play for the side again.

“When this opportunity came around, as soon as I looked at my mum I just knew. She was so excited,” said Defoe, who joined on a free transfer.

“We always hoped at some point later on down the line that I would get an opportunity to represent this club again.”

Defoe, who signed a three-year deal after exercising a clause in his contract with Sunderland that he could leave if they were relegated from the Premier League, said Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe didn’t have to work very hard to convince him to sign.

“They didn’t really have to sell the club to me. It’s a unique situation with me being at the club before. It’s where I made my name,” he said.

“It’s special for me and my family. My mum and dad came to every home game.”

Defoe, who regained his place in the England squad on the back of his goals for Sunderland despite playing in a struggling team, said he hoped to be as effective as he had been in his previous spell at the Cherries.

“I’ve got to try and do it again! It set me up for the rest of my career. I didn’t really look back after that,” he said.

“I’m joining a good team. For me it’s important to join up and try and improve the team. If I can add more goals then everyone is happy.”

Howe is only five years older than Defoe and was the club captain when the striker was there before.

“What he has done at the club has been unbelievable,” said Defoe.

“How many times in football would you actually see a situation like this happen?”

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