Bournemouth’s Jermain Defoe has claimed that he could return to the United States in the near future to compete in the MLS. The 36-year-old, who joined Bournemouth from Sunderland in 2017, experienced a successful spell in the MLS back in 2014, when scored 12 goals in 21 appearances for Canadian side Toronto FC.
There are few English strikers that boast as diverse a playing career as Jermain Defoe. Since coming through the ranks at West Ham United in the late 1990s, Defoe has played for numerous top-flight clubs, but is perhaps best known for his two stints at Tottenham Hotspur between 2004 – 2007 and 2009 – 2014.
It was whilst Defoe was approaching the end of his second spell at Spurs that he made the shock decision to join MLS side Toronto FC, signing a four-year deal with the club in 2014 thought to be worth around £80,000 per week. At the time, there were rumours that Defoe was keen to follow in the footsteps of fellow European exports David Beckham and Robbie Keane, in an attempt to achieve superstardom on the other side of the pond. There were even reports that rapper Drake had influenced Defoe’s decision to leave Spurs.
The former England forward never quite managed to reach the same heights as Beckham and Keane, and by January 2015 Defoe returned to the UK to join Sunderland amid reports that he had fallen out Toronto club president Tim Leiweke. His brief spell at Toronto was quickly forgotten, yet his goalscoring record whilst at the MLS club left a lasting impression on fans.
Defoe has now opened up about his future ambitions, claiming that a return to the MLS could be on the cards.
“I definitely wouldn’t rule it out because when I was there, I enjoyed it,” said Defoe. “I enjoyed going to different places, places I’d never been before.
“But even when I was there, each team we played, I always felt like there were a few players that could probably go on and play at some level in Europe.
“I think the standard is improving. I think when David Beckham went there, it [the standard] was probably nowhere near what it is now.”