Belfast Telegraph

Tottenham Hotspur 'a bit mad' during transfer window, admits Jermain Defoe

By Sam Wallace

Jermain Defoe admitted yesterday that even the Tottenham Hotspur players were none the wiser as to who of them would be at the club by the end of the transfer window as chairman Daniel Levy traded some of the biggest names in the last few days before the deadline.

The England striker was a candidate to be moved on had the club completed the signing of the Internacional striker Leandro Damiao but in the end Defoe agreed a new deal, which keeps him contracted to Spurs for the next three years. However, for others, such as Tom Huddlestone and Michael Dawson, for whom there were deals agreed but never completed with Stoke City and Queen's Park Rangers, there was less certainty.

Defoe, 29, said: "It was a bit mad. You walk into the changing rooms, see the lads and didn't know if you would see them the next day. It is funny. I was away to have my wisdom tooth out one day, came [back] in and Tom had gone to Stoke [for a medical for a prospective one-year loan deal]. Someone else had gone as well. I said to the lads 'I miss one day and all the players are going'."

In the end the deals for Huddlestone and Dawson were not completed, although Luka Modric and Rafael Van der Vaart were both sold. Defoe, having gone from looking as if he could be surplus to requirements in a squad in which Andre Villas-Boas, who has just two points from his first three games, wanted only three strikers, eventually stayed.

Defoe said: "I had two years left on my contract. Every day I would walk out my house and fans would come up to me and ask whether I was staying. I would love to have turned round and said I was staying but I was not sure. Obviously the chairman made it clear that he wanted me to stay as the manager likes me. I had looked bright in pre-season and he wanted me to stay. I love the club so I have signed and I am settled."

Defoe is part of the England squad that travels to Moldova tomorrow ahead of Friday's first World Cup qualifier in Chisinau. With Wayne Rooney and Andy Carroll both absent with injury, he has a good chance of starting on Friday or in the second game of the double-header against Ukraine on Tuesday.

Defoe said: "Managers come and go. At Tottenham, I have played under Jacques Santini, David Pleat, Martin Jol, Harry Redknapp. When the new manager comes in with different tactics, it can be difficult. It takes time. It is a long season and we'll come through fine."

Defoe: Family tragedies have changed me

Jermain Defoe spoke for the first time yesterday about the death of his father and his cousin over the summer, saying that the events of the last few months had changed his perspective on life.

The Tottenham striker was given special leave by Roy Hodgson to fly back for the funeral of his father, Jimmy, during Euro 2012 and revealed yesterday that the England manager also encouraged him to visit his father, who had cancer, in hospital daily before the team flew out to Poland.

Defoe's cousin, Hannah, died in an accident this summer while on holiday in St Lucia, requiring him to fly back from Spurs' pre-season tour of America. In 2009, Defoe's half-brother, Jade, died after being assaulted in Leytonstone. Defoe said: "It happens in life. You get disappointments in life and then everything turns good. But it has been difficult for my family. Especially with my dad. From day one, when he was diagnosed, I was with him from the first meeting in the hospital. I am only 29 and to deal with that was quite difficult.

"I had to tell dad, 'It will be okay and be positive. Keep praying and have faith'. It makes you think about your life and what is important."

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