Arsenal have been searching long and hard for a talisman up top, realistically ever since Thierry Henry left the club – sure, Robin van Persie looked to be the answer for 18 months.
Nobody ever enjoys looking back on life and thinking ‘what might’ve been’, but in this instance it seems thoroughly appropriate. Jermain Defoe, now 34 years of age, has consistently managed to stay at the top of his game no matter where he’s gone throughout his career – to call him underrated would be the definition of an understatement.
What made him, and continues to make him, so special is the fact he doesn’t seem to let any form of occasion get to him. Whether it’s the World Cup, European cup competition or a simple League Cup tie, Defoe remained about as accurate as you could hope for a striker to be.
So why did Arsenal never sign Jermain Defoe?
This is a deal that was written in the stars in a lot of ways, with the Englishman fitting the description of a lethal target-man, brilliantly. His skill and undeniable ability echoes shades of Ian Wright, and there would certainly be an argument to suggest he’d even exceed the former Gunner if given the opportunity.
Defoe is just head and shoulders above anyone in our squad. Can just see his class #SAFC
— Reece Benson (@Reece_Benson) October 26, 2016
Yes, we are all fully aware of the elephant in the room that goes by the name of Tottenham Hotspur. Three separate tenures at the club make the idea of him pulling on an Arsenal strip sickening for both sets of fans, but it’s not like this hasn’t happened before. Just take a look at Emmanuel Adebayor and Sol Campbell as prime examples of committing the ultimate sin.
Obviously Campbell was ever so slightly more successful than Adebayor, but you get the point. It’s happened before and it’s fair to say it would’ve gone a long way in helping Arsenal’s chances of more silverware over the particularly barren decade.
All you have to do is look at some of the alternatives they’ve tried down the years and you’ll get a pretty clear image. Eduardo, Nicklas Bendtner are two prime examples of players who had a lot invested in them but never worked out. There was such talent in the midfield that Defoe would have benefited from service that he hadn’t received anywhere else.
Unfortunately, time catches up with us all, and the days in which this could have been the ideal move are gone now. If the Englishman could perform like he did in the Europa League, just imagine his capabilities with a stronger set-up around him in the Champions League. Mouthwatering.
Even now in 2016, at a point where the forward should be off earning his millions in the MLS, he’s still scoring on a regular basis in the Premier League – we will ignore the fact he kinda did jump ship for Toronto but realised he’s not ready for games of chess and pissing himself, just yet.
Missed a trick, here, Wenger.