Chelsea should have signed Defoe in the summer, claims former Tottenham boss


Terry Venables believes Chelsea should have signed Jermain Defoe in the summer.

Roberto Di Matteo spent heavily on his squad ahead of the new season, bringing in the likes of Eden Hazard, Oscar and Marko Marin for a combined £64million to add to the abundance of flair in his midfield. But when it comes to striker options, only Fernando Torres and Daniel Sturridge are vying for the lone place in the starting XI.

This hasn’t stopped the Blues from leading the Premier League due to their fine start to the season, which they hope will continue when Manchester United visit on Sunday afternoon. But had the European champions lured Defoe from Tottenham Hotspur during the window, Venables believes the Stamford Bridge club would be pretty much untouchable.

“Defoe would be the perfect solution,” he said in The Sun. “But I’m not suggesting he could replace Fernando Torres. Far from it. Defoe’s arrival would help their No 1 front man Torres become even better. I believe Defoe could take away the crushing burden on Torres to convert every half-chance into a goal, therefore freeing the Spaniard to turn on all his other wonderful skills. There’s just too much expectancy on Torres.

“Yes, I know Defoe signed a new deal with Tottenham a few weeks into this season. But having spent much of last season on the bench at White Hart Lane, I thought Chelsea could and should have made a serious attempt to lure him across London to Stamford Bridge. I do not know whether a deal could have been done for the player.

“But his no-nonsense directness in and around the box would have proved the perfect counterpoint for Chelsea’s new elaborate style of football. He has banged in goals wherever he has been and you know it would have been no different at Chelsea.”

Venables came through the ranks as a youth team player at Chelsea and spent seven years at the club in total, winning the League Cup in 1965. He joined Tottenham for £80,000 in 1966 and win the FA Cup two years later, before leaving for Queens Park Rangers in 1969. He also had a spell at Crystal Palace, before hanging up his boots, with two England caps to his name, after a short stint at St Patrick’s Athletic.

He also had a spell in charge of Tottenham as manager, most famously leading them to FA Cup glory over Nottingham Forest in 1991. His next coaching role after Spurs was with England, when he took them to the semi-finals of Euro 1996 where they crashed out on penalties against Germany. He was last involved in management in 2002-03 at Leeds United, but is now mostly seen as a pundit on television.

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