Belfast Telegraph

Defoe wants regular first-team action

Jermain Defoe does not want to leave Tottenham, but the England striker admits he has to start playing regular football again.

The 29-year-old netted 11 goals for Spurs in 23 appearances last season, which was enough to earn himself a call up into Roy Hodgson's Euro 2012 squad. Nevertheless, Defoe has slipped down the pecking order at White Hart Lane, with on-loan Emmanuel Adebayor deployed as a lone frontman supported by Rafael van der Vaart.

"It is a difficult one. I have never said I want to leave the club, all I have just said is I want to play," Defoe told talkSPORT:

"As a forward you just want to get some sort of rhythm and a run in the team. That wasn't the case towards the end of the season. I am going to concentrate on England and go to the Euros, then see what happens. The most important thing for me is scoring goals and that is when I am at my happiest."

Spurs finished fourth in the Barclays Premier League, having eventually been overhauled by rivals Arsenal. However, after Chelsea won the Champions League in dramatic fashion in Munich on Saturday night, it meant Harry Redknapp's men will now head into the Europa League instead.

"The main aim of the season was to finish in the top four, and we have done that. What happened with Chelsea was out of our hands and was just unfortunate," said Defoe, who is in his second spell at Spurs having been signed by Redknapp at Portsmouth in 2008. "There have been lots of ups and downs, but we all stuck together and still performed."

The loss of Champions League football for another campaign has again cast doubt over the future of some of Spurs' key men.

Wales winger Gareth Bale is said to be on the wanted list of a string of top European clubs, while Croatia playmaker Luka Modric has previously been strongly linked with a move to Chelsea, with Manchester United also potential suitors for the 26-year-old.

Defoe believes the White Hart Lane hierarchy must look to take the squad forwards with the current group.

He added: "In football you never know what is going to happen, but it is always important to keep hold of your top players. Some players like Luka Modric and Gareth Bale are players you cannot replace, so it is important to keep them."

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