Defoe asked for move

Tottenham striker admits he made request in January

By Graeme Bailey - Tweet me: @skygraemebailey.   Last Updated: 11/05/12 9:46am

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Tottenham striker Jermain Defoe has confirmed that he asked to leave the club in January.

The England striker has found it hard to break into the Spurs starting line-up this term with Harry Redknapp preferring a pairing of Emmanuel Adebayor and Rafael van der Vaart.

Defoe has started just 11 games and he admits that he did ask for a move earlier this year, with Liverpool very strongly linked with his services.

"I didn't want to leave. I don't go thinking, 'I want to go to this club or that club.'" he told the Daily Mirror.

"But in January I just wasn't playing enough and I did go to the manager and ask to go out on loan.

"He said to me, 'I don't want you to go out on loan. We are trying to do something special here. Don't go.' And so I stayed. And I worked hard to keep myself sharp."

"I love the club. Everybody knows that. When I'm out and people ask whether I am leaving I always say no. But how can I stay somewhere that I don't get the chance to play?"
Jermain Defoe Quotes of the week

Not happy

Despite staying at White Hart Lane, Defoe admits that his attitude remains the same.

"But still I haven't had that run of games. It still feels like I will only get a game if someone is injured or suspended," he said.

"Sometimes I even feel like I'm in the youth team, because I know that, whatever I do in midweek, I won't get a game at the weekend.

"The manager picks the team and I would never be disrespectful to the manager. But when someone doesn't talk to you and explain what's going on it's hard.

"I love the club. Everybody knows that. When I'm out and people ask whether I am leaving I always say no. But how can I stay somewhere that I don't get the chance to play?"

Defoe remains positive that his lack of games will make him fresh for the European Championship this summer and with Wayne Rooney suspended for the opening two games he has high hopes of making the 23-man squad.

Sharp

"That is the one positive - if I do get the chance to go to the Euros, I will be fresh and ready," he said.

"Coming on with a few minutes to go in every other Premier League game means I'm sharp.

"The manager [Hodgson] is a football man. Having been at a tournament before [taking Switzerland to USA 94], he will also know it's all about having people who can come in and get you a goal.

"Other people may have done that in qualifiers but in big international tournaments - when the pressure is on to get a goal or go home - it is much harder.

"I'm hoping that, having done that before, I can do it again."

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