Daniel: Deal for Doyle, Not Defoe

Chris PotterCorrespondent IJanuary 4, 2009

There is bound to be a lot of speculation until February 2 surrounding Portsmouth forward Jermain Defoe's future, and whilst it is evident that the player himself does not want to remain at Fratton Park, it is still unclear which club is interested in acquiring the player—and at what price.

Defoe enjoyed a bright start to the season and was in such goal-scoring form that he seemed to be an early contender for the prestigious Golden Boot award.

Yet, ever since Harry Redknapp's departure to White Hart Lane, the former Spurs striker has looked disinterested. 

Following a reportedly heated dispute with new manager Tony Adams, Defoe has made it clear that he wishes to be reunited with the man who gave him his football league debut for West Ham at the start of the decade.

He has 102 goals from 292 professional starts, a good but not outstanding strike rate.

His record for Pompey has been impressive, but the Tottenham fans who incessantly chanted his name during Friday night's 3-1 F.A. Cup victory over Wigan, should recall the reasons for his departure from the club last January.

Frozen out of the team by regular starters Berbatov and Keane, Defoe did little to impress when he did get the opportunity.

Like Berbatov, he expends energy sparingly. Unlike Berbatov, he does not bring other players into the game regularly.

Tottenham already have three strikers who are all natural finishers, but who do not excel in their link-up play with the midfield. It is for this reason that Spurs have often struggled to break down defences this season.

Having spent £30 million on their only permanent first team strikers not long ago, Redknapp would incur the wrath of the board were he to demand an extra £20 million for a player sold for less than half that fee just 11 months ago.

True, Defoe would feed off the knockdowns provided by the taller and more physical Pavlyuchenko and Bent. He would probably score a few goals as well.

But how long before he lost his form and his starting berth and looked for a move elsewhere? Were it not to work out for the current Spurs boss, would Defoe look to move on?

The Spurs fans love him, but is this love mutual?

Kevin Doyle has scored 16 goals in 26 games in the Championship this season, and an impressive 13 goals in 32 Premier League appearances in 2006-07. He is quick, strong, intelligent, and consistent.

Not only can Doyle boast a similar strike rate to Defoe's, but he is also a more integral part of the team in which he plays. He drifts out wide to link up to the wingers and can also drop deeper effectively.

He is a year younger than Defoe, would command a much lower fee (£6-9 million), and a much lower wage. He would also relish the opportunity to return to the top flight.

So, what is your opinion? Would you prefer Defoe for £18 million or Doyle for £8 million? Is Doyle a ''Spurs player''? Can he score goals consistently at the top level?   


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