Tottenham boss Andre Villas-Boas insists Jermain Defoe is just as good as Atletico Madrid superstar Ramadel Falcao, with the manager suggesting the 30-year-old forward's "moments of brilliance" can turn games.
The English striker scored two goals as Spurs beat West Ham 3-1 in their London derby on Sunday, and the striker now has 10 goals in 19 total appearances this season. The 35-year-old manager praised Defoe's finishing instincts and believes his own striker is on top form.
"Jermain knows how to score goals. [His] hunger for goal is extreme," he told reporters. "He has been doing it for all of his life. I certainly put him alongside Falcao.
"I don't have a lot of experience. The experience I have is with a couple of strikers, but I put him up there with the best."
With seven goals in 13 league appearances, Defoe has a strike rate of more than one in two appearances in the Premier League this term - and his three strikes in five Europa League games have been invaluable for Villas-Boas.
"This [Defoe's goals] is what a manager wants - a striker on top form," Villas-Boas said. "He smells every cross and when the opportunity is there to tap it in. Plus he has the ability to turn on the defenders and he still has the pace in him to cause chaos. I think we saw that against West Ham."
Falcao played under Villas-Boas at Porto in the treble-winning 2010-11 campaign, and the Portuguese manager believes the Colombian and Defoe share similar traits in front of goal.
"When games are as difficult as that game was in the first half [against West Ham], you need players to unlock the game and make the most of opportunities, or an individual moment of brilliance," Villas-Boas continued. "I certainly had that with Falcao. Sometimes you would think that he wouldn't be there to reach a cross and he would appear out of nowhere.
"Jermain is the same. It's these moments of brilliance that can turn games. Players of his experience, they learn how to do other things better, in case they lose their pace.
"They work more on their anticipation, on knowing their rivals and their experience. I don't think it has been the case with Jermain [losing his pace]. He's still very, very fast, even though he's more experienced. I think on the striking position he will continue to score."
Follow GOAL.COM USA on Twitter
- Sports & Recreation