Ashton, who played for the club from 2006-2009 before he was forced to retire, feels Defoe would be an ideal solution to their striking woes.
He told talkSPORT: "He's certainly the type of player West Ham could do with at the moment, a player that is going to get goals.
"I think the West Ham fans wouldn't mind having Jermain back even though he divided the club when he left.
"I'm like a lot of players who have played with Jermain Defoe who will definitely say he's up there with the best finishers we've ever played with."
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