Sunderland striker Jermain Defoe has stressed his commitment to his current employers despite reports linking him with a switch to Premier League newcomers Bournemouth.
The England international has talked up his loyalty, which he believes has been a hallmark of his career so far, citing the examples of his stints under various managers to emphasise the fact he did not seek out Sunderland manager Dick Advocaat for a move away.
“I have never done that [wanted away],” Defoe was quoted as saying by The Times.
“If you speak to any manager I have played for — Harry Redknapp, André Villas-Boas, Fabio Capello — not once have I stormed into their office. I am not one of those players,” he added.
With Sunderland stuck in a rut after losing both their two games of the 2015/16 league campaign, there were reports Defoe was seeking a move away from the troubled waters in Wearside. Sunderland have shipped seven goals in their two losses against Leicester City and Norwich City respectively, and are bottom of the league.
Instead, the 32-year-old is keen to help his team and has vowed to solve their goalscoring problems, insisting his aim is to score 20 goals this season and help the Black Cats achieve something special.
Defoe even took to social media to address a Sunderland fan’s concerns about the situation at the club, and was quoted by The Times as saying: “I want to score 20 goals for Sunderland this season. I’m happy here. I want to help the club achieve something special.”
Defoe has scored more than 20 goals in a season twice in his career, and with Sunderland under pressure early doors, he will be expected to fire in the goals for the struggling Wearsiders this season.