Ex-Sunderland defender Caldwell backs Jermain Defoe to thrive

Steven Caldwell
Steven Caldwell

FORMER Sunderland defender Steven Caldwell has backed Jermain Defoe to be a major success at the Black Cats - once the move is confirmed.

The 34-year-old Toronto captain insists Defoe is a forward that thrives on chances and says he is the type of player who will be a hit anywhere.

Sunderland bound Jermain Defoe

Sunderland bound Jermain Defoe

Defoe, 32, has passed a medical with the Wearsiders with a view to a Premier League return with Gus Poyet’s side and the move is expected to be confirmed on Friday.

The England international moved to Major League Soccer in February 2014 after five years at Tottenham.

“He’s the type of player who will score goals anywhere, at any level,” Caldwell told BBC Newcastle.

“Keep him on the park, keep him fit and give him opportunities.

“He knows where the net is and he’s proved that.

“He’s still very fit, he’s a forward that thrives on chances.”

Caldwell played 81 times for the Black Cats, one of eight clubs he represented in England including Newcastle United before his switch to Toronto in 2013.

Sunderland had been hoping to unveil Defoe today after the England striker successfully passed a medical and agreed a three-and-a-half year deal with the Black Cats.

There is no hitch to the move, with Defoe pictured at the Academy of Light today after training with his new team-mates.

But Defoe’s switch is now expected to be rubber-stamped tomorrow, with the hold-up caused by the time difference with Canada - where Sunderland frontman Jozy Altidore is completing his move to Toronto FC as part of the swap deal.