Quinn: Defoe will ignite Sunderland

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Former Sunderland striker Niall Quinn believes Jermain Defoe will help "ignite" the Stadium of Light when he arrives from Toronto FC.

Sunderland legend Niall Quinn has backed Jermain Defoe to prove his doubters wrong when he completes his anticipated transfer from Toronto FC.

The England international striker is expected to seal his switch to the Stadium of Light imminently, with Jozy Altidore thought to be heading in the opposite direction.

And Quinn, who partnered fellow Wearside hero Kevin Phillips in attack for much of his time with the club, believes Defoe can have a similar impact to another former Sunderland forward in the form of Darren Bent, who he signed during his stint as chairman.

"This signing has put Sunderland on the front foot again," he told reporters in the north east. "Whenever the club has been successful, it’s because they've had someone up front banging in the goals on a regular basis.

"Kevin did it when I was there and then Darren hit the ground running when he arrived from Tottenham.

"I see particular comparisons between the Bent deal and this one.

"Darren arrived feeling he had something to prove because he didn't get the rub of the green at Tottenham.

"Jermain will have heard all the whispers about his age [he is 32] and that after a year in Toronto, he may have lost his edge but he'll love that and see it as a challenge.

"He'll ignite the place. It's a great deal."

Bent scored 32 goals in 58 appearances for Sunderland before leaving to join Aston Villa in 2011.