Defoe aiming for England Euros call-up

13 May

Jermain Defoe

Jermain Defoe has 19 England goals in 55 appearances

Sunderland striker Jermain Defoe says he has “done everything right” to earn a call-up for England’s Euro 2016 squad.

The 33-year-old has hit 15 goals to help the Black Cats retain their Premier League status.

Manager Roy Hodgson names his 23-man squad for the tournament on Monday.

“If I do go it’ll be a dream because it’ll be my third tournament and playing for England is something that I’ve always wanted to do,” said Defoe.

“I’m happy with the way I’ve performed this season I’ve ticked every box and if I don’t go then I can say at least I’ve done everything right,” he told BBC Radio 5 live.

Hodgson has delayed the announcement of his squad to take to France until after the final Premier League fixtures this weekend, with the Football Association citing “fitness reasons”.

He has already lost Arsenal’s Alex Oxlaide-Chamberlain and Danny Wellbeck to injury, with Manchester United defender Luke Shaw another to miss out.

Former West Ham and Tottenham striker Defoe said he joined Sunderland last January from Major League Soccer side Toronto, with an England place at the back of his mind.

Defoe, capped 55 times by England, said: “As a forward you get judged on scoring goals. The England managers at the time thought I could always come on and score. When I came back I thought ‘all I’ve got to do is go there, focus, get my goals and hopefully get in the frame and take it from there’.”

Tottenham’s Harry Kane (25) and Leicester’s Jamie Vardy (24) are the only Englishmen with more top-flight goals this season and Sunderland manager Sam Allardyce said his striker could “still do it at the highest level”.

Defoe’s last cap was in November 2013 and he has previously said he would “never be at peace” with missing out on the 2014 World Cup squad for Brazil.


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