Jermaine Defoe is part of a dying breed of strikers - Michael Owen

Former Liverpool striker-turned-pundit Michael Owen believes Jermaine Defoe could be the last of his kind as the game does not encourage smaller strikers nowadays.

Owen represented the likes of Liverpool, Real Madrid and Manchester United in a fairly successful career as he managed to use his small stature to his advantage to score goals.

Defoe, 34, sealed his move to Bournemouth on a free transfer earlier this month after he triggered a relegation release clause on his Sunderland contract. The England international notched 15 top-flight goals during the previous campaign, and this brought him back into the international reckoning with the World Cup due to start in a year's time.

Speaking on Defoe's move, Owen admitted that there are not many players, who are of a similar stature with the game demanding more physical players in the form of Romelu Lukaku and former Blues great Didier Drogba.

He told "You don’t get many strikers of my size.[Antoine] Griezmann is one exception but normally the teams all play one big striker. You’re not really getting as many small strikers. Jermain Defoe is one like me but they are a dying breed, the type I was. Like Didier Drogba and now Romelu Lukaku types and players like that. That’s what has become fashionable.”

Despite this, Owen believes that smaller marksmen could eventually prove useful on the playing field, should a team utilise the additional striker in the three-at-the-back formation, which has become hugely popular among the Premier League clubs.

Defoe was a constant threat in the frontline for the Black Cats last term, and Cherries boss Eddie Howe will be counting on his experience to keep the club in the Premier League for another season. The former Spurs striker had received offers from the likes of West Ham United, but he decided to pursue a switch to the South Coast, where he would be assured of regular playing time.