Jermain Defoe backed by Eddie Howe to make England World Cup squad
By Calum Wilson
Last Updated: 17/11/17 12:31pm
Jermain Defoe is still in contention to get a place in Gareth Southgate's England squad for the World Cup, according to Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe.
The 35-year-old Bournemouth striker was one of seven senior players left out of the youthful England side for friendlies against Germany and Brazil.
Both games finished in goalless draws, and while an inexperienced England were praised for holding both the world champions and the Brazilians, they seemingly lacked a cutting edge up front.
Defoe has scored just one goal since joining the Cherries in the summer, but Howe has backed his striker to return to form in time for World Cup selection.
"I believe that Jermain can make the World Cup squad," said Howe. "I think he can have an impact at the World Cup for sure. Obviously, it will be defined by how well he does for us between now and then.
"I think you need a mix of players to take to the World Cup. I'm not trying to tell Gareth anything, he will make his own decisions but I think everyone will recognise that you need leadership and experience and from Jermain's perspective someone who can change a game, come on and nick a goal, and who better than him?
"I think Jermain will be in his [Southgate's] thinking, no doubt about that.
"I think Jermain has started the season well for us. People will judge on goals but I think there's a lot more to a centre-forward's performance than just the actual stat.
"We need to get to know how to get the best out of Jermain in terms of our players getting used to the runs he makes, where he wants the ball."
Bournemouth midfielder Lewis Cook was called up to Southgate's squad for the game against Brazil after captaining the England U20 team that were crowned world champions in the summer.
Howe has backed the midfielder to have a very bright future. He said: "When we first started to work with Lewis we recognised very early that he is a very talented boy on the pitch.
"He's a great lad to coach, he wants to learn and he's very rarely flustered or fazed by anything and I think he would've taken the England call-up very much in his stride as a chance to mix it with the best players in England.
"He's got to concentrate now on his club football again and work hard to establish himself in our team."
Play Super 6
Simply predict six correct scores to win the £250k jackpot. Enter your selections for free here.