Eddie Howe: Jermain Defoe the best finisher I've worked with

Jermain Defoe during his spell at Bournemouth
Defoe scored in his first 10 league matches for Bournemouth

Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe says former Cherries loanee Jermain Defoe is the best finisher he has worked with.

Howe was playing for Bournemouth in 2000-01 when Defoe scored 18 goals in 27 starts in the old Division Two.

Bournemouth host Defoe's Sunderland on Saturday and are yet to record a home win or a clean sheet in their maiden season in the top flight.

"We don't want to give him any chances because he is the best finisher that I have worked with," Howe said.

Defoe, 32, who joined Sunderland in January, will face Bournemouth for the first time since leaving the Cherries in what was then the third tier of English football.

Howe is aware of the test the former England striker will pose to a defence which has conceded seven goals in their last three Premier League games.

"He looks like he has lost none of his natural striking instincts or his pace. It will be a real good test for our two centre-halves to be able to manage him," he told BBC Radio Solent.

"When you sign an unknown from West Ham and you see the size and the age that he was, we didn't have too high expectations.

"I can't speak highly enough of him as a player or a person. I have never seen a goalscorer like him."

Bournemouth's assistant manager Jason Tindall roomed with Defoe while the striker was on-loan at the club.

Another former Cherries loanee, John O'Shea, spent three-months on-loan on the south coast and will captain the Black Cats against his former side.

"I played with John many times and that was a great experience for me. I got the feeling straight away he was going to be a top player", added Howe.

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