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Defoe ready to seal World Cup place despite MLS move

| 15.01.2014

Jermain Defoe has backed himself to seal a place in England’s World Cup squad despite moving to MLS side Toronto FC from Tottenham.

Defoe, who will join up with his new team-mates on February 28, has admitted he thought long and hard about how moving to Major League Soccer would affect his chances of pulling on the Three Lions shirt in Brazil next summer.

But the 31-year-old insists he still has what it takes to score the goals that will see him on the plane to the World Cup.

“I have to be honest, I did think about the chances of going to the World Cup. It is always important to play well for your club,” Defoe said as he was being presented to the media.

“The most important thing for me is just playing football, scoring and doing well for the team.

“Hopefully, then I can be on a plane [to Brazil].”

Defoe, who is currently 2/1 to make England’s squad for the tournament, has not featured regularly for Tottenham in the Premier League this season, making just three starts, but in cup competitions the striker has been his usual goal scoring self with nine goals.

The former West Ham man scored his first league goal of the season in Spurs’ 2-0 win over Crystal Palace at the weekend – his 22nd in England’s top flight after appearing from the bench – and before he leaves for pastures new he will be hopeful of adding to his tally.

The Toronto bound forward has an impressive record for his country scoring 19 goals in 55 appearances and he was on the score sheet for England at the 2010 World Cup, firing the only goal of the game as they went on to beat Slovenia to book a place in the last 16.

Current Three Lions boss Roy Hodgson will not want to leave Defoe’s goal poaching instincts at home and with his eye for a goal from the bench, the 2/1 with Ladbrokes on him making the England squad looks a value bet.

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Oliver Yew