Jermain Defoe returned from suspension with a stunning hat-trick against Southampton.
Every Monday TheFA.com announces the best England player from the weekend and Spurs striker Jermain Defoe caught the eye of judge former England central defender Russell Osman.
Defoe’s rollercoaster season hit a new high on Saturday when he returned from suspension to score a stunning hat-trick in a 5-1 Spurs win against Southampton.
It left former England and Ipswich defender Russell Osman to award him the Lion of the Weekend, admitting: "He wouldn’t have been my first choice to mark. He is small, has excellent mobility and can finish."
Defoe is earning the reputation as the best finisher in the Premiership and the way he peeled off the Saints defence to crash Freddie Kanoute’s pass into the roof of the net for his opening goal showed why.
His second goal was compared to Brazilian legend Romario, a deft poke past Antti Niemi with the outside of his left boot. The hat-trick goal was a poacher’s finish, following up Michael Brown’s parried shot.
And he even had time to manage a wonderful assist for Tottenham’s final goal, scooping the ball over a wall of Southampton defenders for Robbie Keane to nip in and score.
"It was a great performance. He seems to have come on since I saw him against Manchester United earlier in the season," said Osman. "He is turning into a very bright prospect and you hope Spurs can maintain their form so that we carry on seeing the best of Defoe.
"His finishing was first-class against Southampton - he is a proper player."
Defoe's Tottenham and England colleague Paul Robinson was also forthcoming in praising the striker's performance: "Jermain is looking very sharp. He's a very good player and up there with the league's best. He can turn a game on his own.
"England fans, as well as Spurs fans, will be very pleased with his performance. He showed what a great player he is which can only be good for the country.
"He's a poacher but he can also score great goals as well. That is the sign of a good player."
Lion of the Season - Total nominations so far
Stewart Downing 3
Shaun Wright-Phillips 3
Michael Owen 2
John Terry 2
Ashley Cole 1
Jermain Defoe 1
Rio Ferdinand 1
Steve Gerrard 1
David James 1
Ledley King 1
Frank Lampard 1
Wayne Rooney 1
Alan Smith 1
Every Monday TheFA.com announces the best England player from the weekend.
* TheFA.com selection panel this season are former England internationals: Mick Mills, Russell Osman, Paul Parker, Malcolm Macdonald and Alan Mullery.