Newcastle tried to sign Jermain Defoe in 2004 before his move to Spurs
Newcastle tried to sign Jermain Defoe in 2004 before his move to Spurs
Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Newcastle tried to sign Jermain Defoe in 2004 before his move to Spurs

Former Premier League star Jermain Defoe has stated that Newcastle United was interested in signing him back in 2004. The ex-England international would instead go to Tottenham Hotspur, and he later returned in 2009.

Defoe told Rio Ferdinand on his ‘Present Five‘ podcast what went down after he left West Ham United and the interest many clubs had in him.

The former Rangers striker said: “I remember signing for Tottenham and within two days I made my debut against Portsmouth, ended up scoring after 30 minutes and kicking on from there. Leaving West Ham was tough, the way I left is probably the one thing I regret.

“I remember at the time I got a call off Leeds and Newcastle. I remember speaking to Arsene Wenger – he wanted me and Carrick but then Tottenham came in. David Pleat was like: ‘I want this kid’ and that was it. It happened so quickly.”

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Defoe could’ve been a great signing, instead, he leaves not so found memories with some Newcastle fans

Considering that Defoe would go on to be one of the all-time top goal scorers in the history of the Premier League, it was certainly a missed opportunity.

Alan Shearer was approaching the end of his career at this point, but it could’ve been a lethal partnership. Furthermore, he could’ve helped lead the line for the Magpies going forward. It would’ve saved the Toon a lot of cash in the long run.

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Later on in his career, Defoe would join rivals Sunderland and play a key part in their survival at Newcastle’s expense. The season before he scored a cracking strike against the Toon in a 1-0 win for Sunderland.

For that and many more important goals, he cemented himself in the hearts of some fans of Newcastle’s biggest rivals. So the fact his career path could’ve been different hurts that little bit more.

The memories he gave Newcastle fans were ones of pain and despair. He joined the Black Cats for the second time in the January transfer window. However, he retired last month after only spending a couple of months with them.

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It definitely doesn’t negatively impact the great career he had. Defoe will go down as one of the best strikers to do it in the Premier League.

Despite his ties with Sunderland, it was still sad to see his career end in the middle of the season. There’s no doubt he was a tremendous striker.