Jermain Defoe Targets England Recall For World Cup

Bournemouth striker Jermain Defoe remains optimistic of making the England World Cup squad despite missing out on selection on the last three occasions. The 35-year-old returned to Three Lions reckoning last summer after an impressive campaign for Sunderland, where he contributed 15 goals in the Premier League.

In order to prolong his international career further, Defoe opted to sign for former club Bournemouth on a free transfer, but things have since not gone his way. The veteran has managed just four league goals during the course of the season, and his form has been partly affected by an injury, which has restricted him to a bench role since December.

Despite this, Defoe is still aiming to earn a spot in the national setup with Southgate likely to pick a fifth striker for the World Cup. In a report covered by BBC Sport, Defoe said: “I've missed the last three squads. There's a lot more goals in me but I know I've got to be playing. I worked so hard to get back in the squad and signed for Bournemouth as an England player.

"I spoke to the manager a few months ago and I understand I have got to be playing. You can't just assume you're going to get in the squad because of what you have done over the years. You've got to be playing, you've got to be performing and you've got to be scoring goals. Once I start doing that I will feel I'm ready to go now.”

During the recent international break, Southgate picked just three frontline strikers in the form of Jamie Vardy, Marcus Rashford and Danny Welbeck with Harry Kane sustained through an injury, but there is a good case that another back-up could be included for the World Cup in Russia. Brighton’s Glenn Murray is another player, who is catching the eye with his performances, but being 34 years of age with relatively no international experience may hamper his selection hopes.