Tottenham striker Jermain Defoe came close to Liverpool switch in January

 

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."

Reuters

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

The long walk west: they fled war in Syria, only to get held up in Hungary – now hundreds of refugees have set off on foot for Austria

They fled war in Syria...

...only to get stuck and sidetracked in Hungary
From The Prisoner to Mad Men, elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series

Title sequences: From The Prisoner to Mad Men

Elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series. But why does the art form have such a chequered history?
Giorgio Armani Beauty's fabric-inspired foundations: Get back to basics this autumn

Giorgio Armani Beauty's foundations

Sumptuous fabrics meet luscious cosmetics for this elegant look
From stowaways to Operation Stack: Life in a transcontinental lorry cab

Life from the inside of a trucker's cab

From stowaways to Operation Stack, it's a challenging time to be a trucker heading to and from the Continent
Kelis interview: The songwriter and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell and crying over potatoes

Kelis interview

The singer and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell
Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea