Defoe has been linked with a return to Upton Park this season.
Cottee told talkSPORT: "Personally I'd love to see Jermain Defoe come back to West Ham, I know he would score the goals and he'd keep us in the Premier League.
"Maiga has had his chances, he got a really good goal against Tottenham, but it was his first goal in a year, and that's unacceptable as a striker. You can't go a year and only score one goal, it's ridiculous.
"They've got to get someone in with a proven track record, they're not in the position to take a chance on someone who has never played in the Premier League."
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