Jermain Defoe admits disappointment at England snub, hints he felt deserving of call-up

The Sunderland striker scored 18 goals this season for the struggling side but was omitted from Roy Hodgson's Euro 2016 squad.

Sunderland striker Jermain Defoe has admitted, as quoted by sources including the Sun, that he is disappointed to have been overlooked for Euro 2016 and suggested that he felt his season meant he was deserving of inclusion.

Harry Kane and Jamie Vardy, playing for third-placed Tottenham Hotspur and newly-crowned champions Leicester City respectively, were the only two Englishmen to score more in the Premier League this season than the 15 Defoe managed for 17th-placed Sunderland.

The 33-year-old has enjoyed the best season of his career for six years at the Stadium of Light this year and talk had begun to mount of a recall to the national side, for whom he last played in 2013.

However, Hodgson's 26-man preliminary squad named Marcus Rashford as the fifth striker instead of the veteran forward, and Defoe's international career now appears to be all but over.

The former Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham United man admitted he had not been thinking about a potential call until people began to talk about it, but hinted that he feels his superb campaign should have been rewarded.

Defoe said, as quoted by the Sun: "Obviously when you are not in it, it’s a disappointment. I feel like I did everything I could do. I’m quite relaxed about it because I haven’t been involved for a while.

"I always thought that to get in an England squad for a tournament is based on merit and as a forward, if you score goals, you have a chance of going.

"So towards the end of the season I started thinking about England. People were starting to mention my name about maybe getting into the squad. But before, I wasn’t really thinking about it, I was so focused on trying to help Sunderland stay in the Premier League."

Naming Defoe in the squad would have been something of a gamble by Hodgson - albeit no more than the inclusion of 18-year-old Rashford, who only played his first senior match less than three months ago.

However, he would have brought a wealth of experience to the England camp, boasting 19 goals from 55 caps and appearances at the 2010 World Cup and Euro 2012.

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