The Sunderland striker was not selected for Euro 2016 despite scoring 18 goals this season.
England manager Roy Hodgson has revealed that he did not leave Sunderland striker Jermain Defoe out of his Euro 2016 squad just because of the striker's age, but rather because he was not looking for a goal poacher, as quoted by the Sunderland Echo.
Defoe enjoyed his most successful domestic campaign in six years this term, netting 18 times in 34 appearances for the Black Cats despite the Wearside club's struggles.
That led to speculation that at the age of 33 he could be in line for a recall to the Three Lions picture after two-and-a-half years, but Hodgson instead chose to select teenage talent Marcus Rashford in his preliminary 26-man squad.
Since the confirmation of his omission, it has been suggested that Defoe was left out because of his advancing years, but Hodgson has revealed that there was more to his thinking on the decision than just that number.
The England boss said, as quoted by the Sunderland Echo: "Jermain, like many other players, has had a very good end to the season, and there’s no reason why a player of his ability shouldn’t be selected in an England squad.
"I’m not saying for one minute that he doesn’t have the ability, if I needed him, to play for England. But there are other players, and these are the players we have been working on.
“We’re really looking forwards to the people who are more akin to [Jamie] Vardy and [Wayne] Rooney himself and Sturridge and Rashford. That’s what we’re looking for, rather than the player who’s very good in the penalty box as a finisher."
The striker last played for England in November 2013, and his international career now appears to be over after his hope of a recall was dashed.