Jermain Defoe's reported attempts to engineer a return to England have not sat well with Toronto FC fans, with the striker forced to take to Twitter to demonstrate his commitment to the club.
Rehab has gone well !Back to Toronto Monday, and ready for playoff push# goals .— Jermain Defoe (@IAmJermainDefoe) September 16, 2014
Jermain Defoe might still be angling for a return to the Premier League come the winter but, in the meantime, the injured Toronto FC striker is attempting to rebuild his reputation among the MLS side’s supporters.
Defoe made the switch from Tottenham Hotspur to the Canadian club just over five months ago, but has been widely reported to be looking for an exit following the sacking of head coach Ryan Nelsen last month, with a hectic transfer deadline saga seeing him travel back across the Atlantic admit reports of interest from the likes of Queens Park Rangers, Leicester, Newcastle, Hull and even Arsenal.
Toronto ultimately turned down all approaches for their £6 million man but, with Harry Redknapp admitting he was keen to bring him to QPR at a later date, the prospects of keeping the England international past the 2014 season appeared bleak.
Things were then further brought to a head over the past week, when club president and CEO Tim Leiweke was reported to have told a group of college students during a guest seminar that he didn’t expect Defoe to ever feature for the team again, adding:
‘If you’re gone, I’m gone.’
Agreeing to a four-year, £70,000-plus-per-week deal with Toronto in January, Defoe has scored 11 goals in 16 MLS games since, but has spent large chunks of the campaign out injured, missing the last four matches with a groin strain.
Fellow strikers Gilberto and Luke Moore have performed well in his absence, but the club’s defensive frailties have seen them fall behind in their bid to claim a first post-season appearance since entering MLS in 2007.