In his column for The Sun, Wright wrote: "Jermain Defoe was only a kid when he arrived at West Ham from Charlton in 1999.
"I was also at Upton Park, coming towards the end of my career, yet we hit it off instantly.
"I consider Jermain as one of my closest friends and speak to him most days.
"We chatted for an hour-and-a-half before the Bulgaria game and, as he admitted afterwards, my prediction was that he would score a hat-trick.
"I was delighted but not surprised. I feel Jermain can take over Michael Owen's role as a prolific England scorer.
"He is a real student of the game and takes everything extremely seriously."