Does Jermain Defoe warrant a place in England's World Cup squad?

Jermain Defoe

Former Tottenham striker Jermain Defoe still has hopes of going to Brazil despite his move to Toronto FC.


A move to the Major League Soccer usually signals the last few years of a player's career as they go for a handsome pay packet rather than a competitive challenge.

Of course the MLS has improved a great deal in recent years, but if Jermain Defoe wanted to impress Roy Hodgson before the World Cup squad announcement then he would have been best doing that in the Premier League.

He has started extremely well at Toronto though with two goals in his first game as his new side beat Seattle Sounders 2-1. Both goals came within the first 23 minutes and it looked as if he could get a lot more on his debut.

Speaking to FIFA.com Jermain said "On a personal level, I'd like to score as many goals as possible for the club and go to the World Cup.To get in a World Cup squad you have to be playing. Throughout my career people know I've scored a lot of goals."

"I think the most important thing for me is to play and score goals. I think that's all I can do."

"It's so exciting. It's going to be hard for the manager to pick 23 players because there are so many good players these days."

Chances were at a premium at Tottenham Hotspur with his game time predominantly coming in the Europa League where he seemingly never failed to score.

7 goals from 5 games in the Europa League this season but he couldn't usurp Roberto Soldado or Emmanuel Adebayor to command a starting place in the Spurs' lineup. Is he still worthy of a place in the England squad however?

Firstly it will depend on how many strikers Hodgson is planning to take to Brazil and that could depend on the formation he wants to incorporate them into.

Wayne Rooney and Daniel Sturridge are certainties on the plane and personally I would start Sturridge down the middle with two wingers either side of him; perhaps Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Adam Lallana as things stand.

Let's say Hodgson takes five strikers then Defoe will have a good chance of making the squad.

Regardless of form this season or where he is playing, we all know Defoe is a clinical finisher, one of the best in the history of the Premier League.

Defoe is someone who can be turned to in the hour of need. In the last World Cup after two awful performances against USA and Algeria, England needed a win against Slovakia. Defoe was given a start and duly scored the only goal of the game to carry the nation into the last-16.

If a similar situation arises at this summer's World Cup then Jermain is still someone who you can rely upon. Perhaps over any other English striker. Sturridge and Rooney are obviously great strikers, but one is still very new to the international stage and the other hasn't exactly been a star performer at major championships for England.

Rickie Lambert will be hoping to play a part at the World Cup and he offers us that option of a big target man, but one who is also a very talented footballer. He has impressed in his England games so far and is having another great season for Southampton. He would be very unfortunate to miss out, and should be picked ahead of Andy Carroll.

Another Southampton player looking to make the party is Jay Rodriguez. He is a similar player to Danny Welbeck in that he can be useful in an attacking wide position.

However do we need to take two players like that along with at least four wingers?

I don't see a place in the squad for him and would rather see an out and out striker go as well as Welbeck.

So with five strikers going Defoe should join Rooney, Sturridge, Lambert and Welbeck.

If it's just the four then he could miss out but Welbeck could be classed as a wide player.

A lot can happen between now and the end of the season and there could be one or two injuries which could change everything.

Defoe has got off to a great start for Toronto and all he can do is carry on scoring goals for them and hope Hodgson takes notice.

 

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