March 23, 2017

Jermain Defoe: 'Being senior England player is strange'

20 March 2017, 08:38 | Pamela Mathis

Defoe credits close friend and Arsenal legend Ian Wright for introducing him to Tiberius Darau

Defoe credits close friend and Arsenal legend Ian Wright for introducing him to Tiberius Darau

"To get into any [international] squad is based on merit, so you have got to be playing at the top level, it is as simple as that".

"I was getting a lot of stick from the lads at the training ground saying 'why have you still got the England flag on your boots?' I was just hoping one day I'd get an opportunity and it's come, so I'm delighted".

Jermain Defoe has indicated he will leave struggling Sunderland if they are relegated because he needs to stay in the Premier League to keep alive his hopes of going to next year's World Cup finals with England.

"This time around, it's a bit odd because you are a senior lad and you want to try to help the younger lads, but even the younger lads have got some experience under their belt, which is important".

Gareth Southgate could be set to name Tottenham striker Harry Kane as the next England captain, according to The Sun. Playing in the major tournaments, going out and emulating the players you've seen on TV.

Rooney and Kane will miss England's Wednesday clash against reigning World Cup champions Germany due to injury.

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"The boys I'm competing against are playing in the Premier League and playing in Europe and probably that's why I missed out on the last World Cup".

The 34-year-old is joined by uncapped James Ward-Prowse with the England Under-21 captain having stepped up to the senior squad for the first time.

"I know how important it is to play for your country".

"It's positive that if you are doing well at a young age then you'll be given a chance". It's always been a life-long ambition and a career ambition to reach the senior squad.

"To see so many faces I have seen in the under-21s is a good feeling".

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