Tottenham striker Jermain Defoe came close to Liverpool switch in January
Friday 11 May 2012
Jermain Defoe has admitted that he asked to leave Tottenham Hotspur in January and that a loan move to Liverpool was a real possibility at the time.
He said that even though he was not playing regularly, he was fit and sharp and optimistic of being named in the England squad for Euro 2012 when it is announced on Wednesday.
Defoe, in his second spell with Spurs, has only started 11 Premier League matches this season and come on 13 times as a substitute with manager Harry Redknapp preferring to start with Emmanuel Adebayor and Rafael van der Vaart in attack.
However, when he has come on he has generally done well and has scored 16 goals in all competitions this season.
"I didn't want to leave. I don't go thinking, 'I want to go to this club or that club'," he told the Daily Mirror newspaper.
"But in January I just wasn't playing enough and I did go to the manager and ask to go out on loan.
"He said to me, 'I don't want you to go out on loan. We are trying to do something special here. Don't go.' And so I stayed. And I worked hard to keep myself sharp.
"But still I haven't had that run of games. It still feels like I will only get a game if someone is injured or suspended," he added. "Sometimes I even feel like I'm in the youth team, because I know that, whatever I do in midweek, I won't get a game at the weekend.
"The manager picks the team and I would never be disrespectful to the manager. But when someone doesn't talk to you and explain what's going on it's hard.
"I love the club. Everybody knows that. When I'm out and people ask whether I am leaving, I always say no. But how can I stay somewhere that I don't get the chance to play?"
Spurs are fourth in the Premier League and have the chance of a third-placed finish and an automatic place in next season's Champions League if they beat Fulham in their final match of the season on Sunday and Arsenal fail to win at West Bromwich Albion.
Defoe said the one positive from the last few months is that he was ready to play for England.
"If I do get the chance to go to the Euros, I will be fresh and ready," he said. "Coming on with a few minutes to go in every other Premier League game means I'm sharp."
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