Harry Redknapp insists Tottenham striker Jermain Defoe will not be sold

 

Harry Redknapp insists Jermain Defoe will not be leaving Tottenham in January and has backed the striker to force his way in to England's Euro 2012 squad.

Defoe has not started Spurs' last five Barclays Premier League games, with Redknapp preferring to partner Emmanuel Adebayor with Rafael van der Vaart, and the England hitman revealed today that he is worried about missing out Fabio Capello's Euro 2012 squad.

The former West Ham striker has not played a competitive game for England since September 2010 and was recently left out of the Three Lions squad for the friendlies against Spain and Sweden.

Van der Vaart is struggling with a hamstring injury for tomorrow's game at West Brom, but frustratingly for Defoe, he may miss the trip to the midlands with a groin problem.

Defoe reminded Redknapp of his potency in midweek when he scored five goals in the reserves against Charlton and the Spurs boss has spoken to his striker to reassure him that he will get his chance in the first team in the coming weeks.

Defoe appears determined to win back his first-team place and Redknapp admits there is no way he would sell him in the January transfer window.

"I wouldn't sell him. He is a fantastic player," Redknapp said.

"In midweek he scored five goals against Charlton. They were incredible finishes.

"He is a top player. He has just been unlucky. Adebayor came in and has done great up front and Rafa has been in fantastic form.

"I had a chat with Jermain in the week. Rafa is struggling with a hamstring and Jermain has a tight groin this weekend, but he will get his opportunities when he is fit and I am sure he will take them."

Time is running out for Defoe to persuade Capello that he can replace the suspended Wayne Rooney in England's group games next summer, but Redknapp is sure that the man he has managed at three different clubs during his career will be on the plane to Poland and the Ukraine.

"I don't pick the squad, that's up to Fabio Capello, but Jermain is a top-class striker so there is no reason why he shouldn't be in the squad.

"He is up there. Rooney is top-class and after that it's a very difficult one. We have four or five strikers and there isn't much to choose between them."

Tottenham have made huge strides over the last two months, bouncing back from a poor start to go on a nine-match unbeaten run which has rocketed the club up to third in the table.

They have dropped just two points since the 5-1 defeat to Manchester City and Redknapp admitted after Monday night's victory over Aston Villa that he considers his team genuine title challengers.

The 64-year-old, who returned to the dugout on Monday after three weeks off due to a minor heart procedure, admits his team are playing at their best, but has warned them of the dangers of complacency, especially against teams like West Brom, who they are expected to beat.

"The season is just over a quarter of the way through," Redknapp said.

"We have a tough game tomorrow. I have never been to West Brom and had an easy game. They have a fantastic manager and they will be a difficult opponent for us. We have just got to keep our feet on ground now and try to keep on picking up results."

The club's upturn in form has left Redknapp confident that he will not have to venture in to the transfer market when the window opens, although he did today declare his admiration for reported target Junior Hoilett, who is out of contract at Blackburn next summer.

"He (Hoilett) is a good player. We have never made any enquiries for him, but he has been an exciting little player this year."

PA

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory
Ashes 2015: Alastair Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Aussie skipper Michael Clarke was lured into believing that what we witnessed at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge would continue in London, says Kevin Garside
Can Rafael Benitez get the best out of Gareth Bale at Real Madrid?

Can Benitez get the best out of Bale?

Back at the club he watched as a boy, the pressure is on Benitez to find a winning blend from Real's multiple talents. As La Liga begins, Pete Jenson asks if it will be enough to stop Barcelona
Athletics World Championships 2015: Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jessica Ennis-Hill and Katarina Johnson-Thompson heptathlon rivalry

Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jess and Kat rivalry

The last time the two British heptathletes competed, Ennis-Hill was on the way to Olympic gold and Johnson-Thompson was just a promising teenager. But a lot has happened in the following three years
Jeremy Corbyn: Joining a shrewd operator desperate for power as he visits the North East

Jeremy Corbyn interview: A shrewd operator desperate for power

His radical anti-austerity agenda has caught the imagination of the left and politically disaffected and set a staid Labour leadership election alight
Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief: Defender of ancient city's past was killed for protecting its future

Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief

Robert Fisk on the defender of the ancient city's past who was killed for protecting its future
Berlusconi's world of sleaze: The astonishing lifestyle once enjoyed by Italy's former PM

Berlusconi's world of sleaze

The astonishing lifestyle once enjoyed by Italy's former PM
Disney plans galactic domination with endless Star Wars spin-offs

Disney plans galactic domination with endless Star Wars spin-offs

Films and theme parks are just the beginning. Disney believes its control of the now decades-old franchise can bring in merchandise and marketing millions for years to come
Could the golden age of the gaming arcade ever be revived in the era of the Xbox?

Could gaming arcades be revived?

The days when coin-ops were the only way to play the latest video games are gone. But a small band of enthusiasts are keeping the button-pushing dream alive
Edinburgh Fringe 2015: The 'tampon tax' has inspired a new wave of female comedians to reclaim period jokes

Heard the one about menstruation?

Yes, if you have been at the Fringe, where period pieces are taking centre stage