Ex-Sunderland striker highlights reason Roy Hodgson may be convinced to pick Jermain Defoe


Michael Chopra believes the 33-year-old's late-season form may persuade England to call him up for Euro 2016.

Former Sunderland striker Michael Chopra has told Sky Sports that the fact Jermain Defoe is ending the season in such fine form may persuade Roy Hodgson to recall him to the England squad for Euro 2016.

Defoe has not played for his country since 2013, but is enjoying his most prolific domestic season in six years for the Black Cats this term.

The 33-year-old has scored 18 goals in 33 appearances in all competitions at club level, a tally which is second only to Harry Kane and Jamie Vardy for English players this season, and which looks to have saved Sunderland from what looked earlier this season like certain relegation.

Five of those strikes have come in his last eight appearances, and Chopra, who netted just eight times in 42 games in two years at the club, believes his late run of scoring form could see him force his way back into contention for the national side.

Chopra told Sky Sports: "I've known Jermain since I was 15 years old. I played with him from England U16s right through to the U21s and you knew then that if you give him a chance he will stick it in the back of the net.

"I think Roy [Hodgson] has to look at him because he will be looking at players who are in form come the end of the season.

"Defoe has been in and out of England squads his whole career and like I said before, give him a chance and he'll stick it away. If England need him, he'll do a job for them."

What is already a hugely impressive Indian summer for Defoe would be crowned by an unlikely recall for England, and he clearly still has plenty to offer at this comparatively late stage of his career.

As well as his goals, the striker has experience of playing a major tournaments after featuring for the Three Lions at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa and Euro 2012.

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