Home » Dean Saunders: Manchester United should move for Jermain Defoe and not Alvaro Morata

Dean Saunders: Manchester United should move for Jermain Defoe and not Alvaro Morata

by Leo Nieboer

Former Liverpool striker Dean Saunders believes that Manchester United ought to have opted for Jermain Defoe over Alvaro Morata this summer.

The Spaniard, who only managed 14 La Liga starts last season but still emerged as second top scorer behind Cristiano Ronaldo, has told friends he expects to join Man United this summer. 

Defoe, on the other hand, has joined AFC Bournemouth after being relegated with Sunderland last season, claiming 15 goals in the process.

And Saunders, speaking somewhat fittingly on talkSPORT, believes Jose Mourinho missed a trick by moving for Morata and ignoring the 34-year-old.

“I would have taken Defoe,” he said.

“He’s 34, scored 15 goals last season, [has a] couple of years in him. His instinct of getting to the ball first in the box is brilliant.

“You’re gambling, every time you sign a striker from abroad it’s a gamble. I don’t think it’s a gamble with Defoe.

“Jermain Defoe is my favourite player. I love watching him.

“I like how his brain works and how he can finish, he finishes all types of chances. He doesn’t drink, he’s fit as a fiddle. He will (start) if he scores every week.”

This has to be the most Brexit footballing opinion I’ve ever come across. Saunders’ argument is essentially this: if they’re foreign, you can’t rely on them; if they’re English, you can – which is exactly why every team that has won the Premier League in the 21st century has comprised mainly of non-English players, and why no English players succeed abroad or at a major tournament.

Saunders’ claims are essentially an equivalent of your dad arriving in a foreign country and getting furious at there being no ‘Spar’ convenience store. He is your dad reluctantly going to a Chinese restaurant, scoffing at whatever Kung Pao chicken is, and ultimately ordering chips.

I don’t need to tell you why this claim is ridiculous; you know exactly why Morata will join United instead of Defoe.

What needs to be discussed further, however, is this pathetic and completely unfounded sense of entitlement some people in this country have towards English players versus the rest.

How, after years upon years of being put to shame by more advanced, cohesive and successful footballing cultures, can we still believe English players are in any way superior to players from overseas?

Where is the logic in complaining about the lack of English players featuring for top Premier League sides? There is one reason and one reason alone why players from France, Spain and other established footballing nations continue to dominate: because they are better.

And, Mr Saunders, there is a reason why United are more interested in Morata than Defoe: because he is better. 


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