Nobody can dispute the fact that Sunderland are incredibly lucky to still be playing Premier League football. They’ve spent much of the last three years either in or around the relegation zone, and in fact no side spent longer than the Black Cats in the bottom three last campaign.
With that in mind, it comes as no surprise to see the North East outfit rooted to the foot of the table with just two points to their name after 10 games.
But what does remain a mystery is that Jermain Defoe is still on their books.
Some would argue that the 34-year-old is in the form of his life right now, with the striker having scored a staggering 16 league goals since the turn of the year.
To put that into some context, it’s more than Diego Costa and Jamie Vardy have managed over the same time period, while England striker Harry Kane boasts exactly the same figures.
Statistically, Defoe is actually one of the most clinical strikers the Premier League has ever seen, with the former Tottenham Hotspur man featuring in ninth-place in the list of all-time top scorers in the division – and that’s while spending much of 2014 playing in MLS for Toronto.
Defoe clearly hasn’t lost his goalscoring touch, and he looks a long way off doing just that, so could he find himself plying his trade somewhere else in the top-flight come January?
If David Moyes’ men continue with this dismal form then Defoe’s talent would certainly be wasted at the club. So what kind of move might tempt the man with 55 England caps to his name?
This is a move that wouldn’t come as a surprise to many should it go through.
Defoe was sent on loan to Bournemouth back in 2000, and he made an immediate impact, scoring 10 goals in as many games for the Cherries.
Eddie Howe will feel quietly confident his side can break into the top 10 of the Premier League this year. Sign Defoe and that might just happen.
A return to the Capital could be on the cards for Defoe should his current side continue to struggle.
But while the likes of former club West Ham will see a move for Defoe as a step in the wrong direction for a side with their ambition, Crystal Palace may just be the perfect fit.
Granted, Christian Benteke has impressed since his arrival back in the summer, but right now there’s a lot of pressure on the Belgian’s shoulders – and that’s something a player of Defoe’s calibre can help ease.
Up next for Sunderland is a trip to Bournemouth, and David Moyes’ side are already dangerously close to ‘must win territory’ as they sit some eight points adrift of safety.
They’re 17/4 to grab an unlikely win against Howe’s men.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing