West Ham captain Mark Noble has opened the door for ex-West Ham striker Jermain Defoe to return to the club in January.
Noble heaped the praise on the 36-year-old Bournemouth forward, who played 94 times for the Hammers scoring 29 goals, while addressing speculation regarding the striker's possible movements in January.
“There have been some stories recently about Jermain Defoe wanting to come back to West Ham to end his career here. I don’t know if that is true but the one thing I’ve always felt about him is that he should have played for a title-winning club in his career," said the West Ham captain in his Evening Standard column.
“His scoring record anyway is phenomenal, but if he had played for one of those clubs, it would have gone through the roof."
Defoe was a firm favourite at Upton Park, where he started his career back in 1999 after leaving Charlton's academy.
Recent reports have claimed that Bournemouth striker Defoe has even contacted the Hammers about a potential return in January, with the London club looking to bolster their attacking options.
While it is not known whether either club are aware or even interested in such a move, it is an unusual move to say the least for a player to speak about potential transfers - particularly a club captain.
This rare public endorsement from Noble has potentially opened the door for Defoe to push further for that reported desired return to east London, with appearances few and far between for the 36-year-old on the south coast.
The ex-England striker has failed to get on the team sheet – let alone the score sheet – this term with just two cameo roles to his name for the Cherries in the Premier League this campaign.