Former West Ham United striker Jermain Defoe says he always expected the club to improve dramatically under David Moyes.
Jermain Defoe is a former striker, who retired in 2022 as the ninth-highest Premier League goalscorer of all time (162 goals)
The English striker was known for his deadly finishing in the English Premier League with clubs such as Tottenham Hotspur and Portsmouth, and was considered one of the league's best during his peak years.
Born in east London, Defoe burst onto the scene for West Ham in 1999 and managed to piece together an impressive 23-year career before hanging up his boots in 2022.
London upbringing at West Ham United
After shining at his local community club, Defoe joined the FA National School of Excellence before joining Charlton Athletic. Then, when he turned 16, he signed his first professional contract with West Ham, who would eventually pay £1.7 million in compensation to Charlton.
The young striker made his first team debut for the Hammers in 2000 during a League Cup match against Walsall, where he scored in a 1-0 win.
Shortly after, he joined AFC Bournemouth on loan, and while on the South Coast he netted in 10 consecutive matches to equal a club record. He went on to score 18 goals in his loan spell and it was immediately clear that Defoe's knack for goalscoring would make him a star in years to come.
He later apologised and began the 2003/04 season with the club, but his refusal to sign a new contract paired with frequent disciplinary issues led to West Ham accepting an offer from Tottenham Hotspur in the next transfer window. In his time at Upton Park, Defoe scored 38 times in 103 games.
Moving to north London with Tottenham Hotspur
The fee of Defoe's switch from West Ham to Tottenham Hotspur was reported to be £6million, rising to £7 million.
The 21-year-old had already gained a reputation as one of the brightest striking prospects produced in this country. He scored on his Spurs debut in a 4-3 win against Portsmouth, and scored six more times in the second half of the season.
In the following season, Defoe was prolific in all competitions, scoring 13 league goals alongside nine in nine appearances in cup competitions. He received the club's Player of the Year award in 2004, emphasising just how vital his goals were for his new side.
Joining Harry Redknapp at Portsmouth
Just as he had at Tottenham, Defoe scored on his debut - this time against Chelsea in a 1-1 draw. He hit the ground running, and scored consecutively in his first five home matches, becoming the first Pompey player to do so.
In the subsequent campaign, Defoe contributed in both of Portsmouth's first four wins of the season. He scored two goals in matches against Everton and Middlesbrough and then a goal in each of the games against former club Tottenham and Stoke City.
With Portsmouth having reached Europe for the first time, Defoe shined in their first showing, contributing a goal and assist against Portuguese side Vitoria in a 2-1 win.
Return to Tottenham
After rejoining the club midseason, Defoe only featured in eight league matches because of injury. It kept him sidelined from Spurs' League Cup final match against Manchester United which the Red Devils ended up winning on penalties. Spurs ended the Premier League season in eighth.
Defoe was putting his name forward to be England's main striker, and he strengthened his claim for the spot with his third hat-trick in a matter of months - this time against Leeds United in the FA Cup. He ended the season with an impressive 24 goals.
In total, Defoe scored 143 goals in 362 appearances for the club, making him the fifth highest-scorer in the history of the club. Harry Kane has since gone on to surpass Defoe, knocking him down to sixth.
MLS move to Toronto
In February 2014, Defoe moved to Toronto FC to play in MLS, his first move outside of England.
Once again he scored on his debut, netting both goals in a 2-1 win against Seattle Sounders. In the 2014 campaign he netted 11 goals in 19 MLS appearances.
But despite his good scoring record, Defoe's time at Toronto was limited due to apparent home sickness, and he quickly sought a move back to England.
Return to England with Sunderland
After a brief loan spell back at Tottenham, Sunderland signed Jermain Defoe in 2015 as part of a swap deal with Toronto for USA international Jozy Altidore. He made his debut for the Black Cats a day later but failed to score, ending his record of scoring on his first appearance for every club he had played for.
Defoe had netted two Premier League goals for Sunderland before he scored his most significant goal for the club, a volley in the Tyne-Wear derby to give Dick Advocaat his first win as the manager.
He was a crucial part of the squad in the following 2015/16 season, scoring 15 league goals and helping Sunderland maintain their Premier League status. He also netted two hat-tricks, including one against Swansea City in the league. He was named the club's Player of the Season and signed a new contract, keeping him at the club until 2019.
Once again in the 2016/17 campaign, the striker found the net 15 times in the league with the majority coming in the first half of the season. This time, though, Defoe's goals were not enough to save Sunderland, and their relegation prompted him to make another move.
Defoe rejoined Bournemouth in the summer of 2017 under the management of Eddie Howe. He was sidelined for a large proportion of the season and only mustered four top flight goals. This, though, meant that he had scored in 17 consecutive Premier League seasons.
Scottish journey with Rangers
After only making a handful of appearances for Bournemouth in the first half of the 2018/19 season, Jermain Defoe moved north of the border to Rangers on an 18-month loan deal.
In January 2019, he kept up his impressive record by scoring on his debut against Kilmarnock. In the second half of the season he was able to score eight goals for his new team.
In November, after manager Steven Gerrard left to join Premier League side Aston Villa, it was announced that Defoe would act as part of the caretaker team at Rangers while they looked for a new manager. Just days later, Giovanni van Bronckhurst was announced as the side's new boss.
Return to the Black Cats
Three Lions career
While playing for West Ham and on loan at Bournemouth, Jermain Defoe made his England Under-21's debut against Mexico and scored the second goal in a 3-0 win. He would make 23 appearances for England at this level, netting seven times.
Between 2004 and 2017 the lethal striker would play 57 times for England, making his debut under Sven-Goran Eriksson in 2004 aged 21. In that 13 year period he scored 20 goals, including one at the 2010 World Cup against Slovenia, which helped his nation progress to the Round of 16.
Defoe was controversially left out of the 2006 World Cup squad and arguably deserved many more caps having had such a successful career as a goal scorer.
His last two international appearances came in 2017, having not featured for his country since 2014. He scored his last international goal against Lithuania in qualification for the 2018 World Cup.
Before this match, Defoe led the team out at Wembley accompanied by Bradley Lowery, a terminally ill Sunderland fan, who suffered with neuroblastoma.
According to celebritynetworth.com, Defoe's estimated net worth is $20million.