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Another transfer window would not be complete without West Ham United being linked with Jermain Defoe.

Defoe became something of a hate figure for West Ham fans when he handed in a transfer request the day after they were relegated from the Premier League back in 2003.

After failing to get a move before the start of the Hammers‘ Championship campaign, Defoe was then sent off on several occasions eventually forcing a move to bitter rivals Tottenham Hotspur.

Tit for tat with the West Ham crowd over the ensuing years since and biting Javier Mascherano in one particular derby did little to change the opinion of the Hammers fans.

Defoe has been heavily linked with a return to East London in recent seasons and even discussed a potential come back in The Express. That never came to fruition.

Phil Cole ALLSPORT

Howe will let Defoe leave, and you know what that means…

But a revelation about Defoe’s future from Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe is bound to see the striker linked with a return to East London yet again.

The 36-year-old ex-England star has made four substitute appearances in the league with his only starts coming in the cup.

Now Howe has revealed to Sky Sports he is willing to let superfit Defoe leave the club in January.

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Defoe deal makes sense on many levels

That may prove tempting for Hammers boss Manuel Pellegrini. It would also be a cheap but proven option for co-owners David Sullivan and David Gold.

Pellegrini is nursing a Premier League-worst injury list.

And he is at something of a crossroads with his forward options too.

 

Andy Carroll is out of contract in the summer and does not fit the Chilean’s playing style.

Lucas Perez and Javier Hernandez do not offer enough to hold down first team spots.

And that means an over-reliance on winger-turned-striker Marko Arnautovic.

With impressive young striker Xande Silva earning a place in the Hammers squad of late there is a school of thought that the Portuguese goalscorer could learn a lot from a player cut from the same cloth in Defoe.

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But Pellegrini should focus on building a new young and hungry West Ham

But Pellegrini should steer clear.

Defoe has been one of the great goalscorers in modern Premier League history.

He is past his best now, though, as evidenced by his inability to force his way into the Bournemouth side.

Defoe would arguably be better backup than the likes of Perez.

But Pellegrini should stay focused on the superb job he is doing so far in terms of recruitment. Under him the signs are there West Ham are building something.

The bedrock of that will clearly be young and hungry players to make the Hammers a genuine force for years to come.

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