Since his days as a teen prodigy at West Ham, where he arrived as sixteen-year-old via a controversial move from Charlton, this England international has been regarded as one of the foremost finishers in the country.
A loan spell at Bournemouth in the old Second Division during the 2000-01 season saw him match a post-war record of scoring in ten consecutive matches and he showed similar qualities when granted his chance by the Hammers. Their relegation in 2002-03 eventually saw him sold the following January to Tottenham where he enjoyed intermittent gluts of goalscoring before eventually losing his place to the partnership of Robbie Keane and Dimitar Berbatov.
A move to Portsmouth in January 2008 proved fruitful in terms of goals before he was then sold back to Spurs twelve months on for a considerable profit. However, as a result of the timing of his moves between the clubs, he missed out on a 2007-08 FA Cup winner's medal with Pompey by virtue of being cup-tied, having previously missed out on Spurs' Carling Cup win the same season despite playing in every round bar the final.
Strengths: A quick-thinking striker who matches a poacher's instinct with a thunderous shot from long range. An impact player from the bench who can profit from tiring defenders.
Weaknesses: Defoe has long been accused of not being able to play a bigger part in holding the ball up and being too selfish in possession.
Career high: Scoring five goals in a single game as Tottenham ran riot to beat Wigan 9-1 in November 2009.
Career low: Being omitted from Sven Goran Eriksson's 23-man England squad for World Cup 2006.
Style: Pacy, instinctive, self-assured, a confidence player
Quotes: "He looks stronger than I have ever seen him and I have known him since he was 14. He has done a lot of work in the gym in the summer and he looks even more explosive." Harry Redknapp, August 2009
Trivia: Defoe is a one-time paramour of David Beckham's sister Joanne.