Friedel compares Tottenham striker Defoe to Liverpool icon Fowler

Brad Friedel believes his Tottenham Hotspur teammate Jermain Defoe is one of the most natural finishers he has ever seen, on par with Robbie Fowler, who the goalkeeper played with at Liverpool, the Daily Mirror has reported.

Defoe has led the line for Spurs this season under Andre Villas-Boas, scoring a combined 15 goals to date for his club and Roy Hodgson’s England side in 26 appearances. That tally includes five goals in his last for Tottenham games, with braces against former club West Ham United and Fulham, and one against Panathinaikos on Thursday in the Europa League.

Friedel saw Fowler up close during his time at Liverpool in the 1990s and sees similarities between the player known as “God” by the red half of Merseyside and Defoe. The American added that Defoe’s major attribute is making life uncomfortable for goalkeepers.

What does he do to make it difficult for goalkeepers? He scores! He reminds me a lot of Robbie Fowler in his finishing because he has a really short back-lift,” Friedel said.

He added: “When you have a really short back-lift, sometimes keepers cannot get their feet set. On top of that, he has got some power behind his shot. Then, he can disguise it and do what he did on Thursday and dink it over the keeper.

And Friedel believes that, like Fowler, Defoe is at his best from anywhere within 18 yards of the opposition’s net. “He is an exceptional finisher and he really comes on fire when he is inside the box,” Friedel said.

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