Saturday 21 April 2018

Redknapp keen to keep hold of defoe

Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp is adamant that Jermain Defoe will not be sold in the January transfer window, even though he knows the striker's absence from the first team could ruin his England chances write Jonathan Liew and Tim Groves.

The 29-year-old has scored six goals this season, but it has been almost two months since his last Premier League start and he was left out of the England squad for the friendlies against Spain and Sweden. Defoe has been overlooked in recent weeks in favour of Rafael van der Vaart, who has scored six goals in seven games, and Redknapp conceded that the fight for selection came down to a straight choice between the pair.

"It is difficult getting Rafa and Jermain in the team," Redknapp admitted.

"It is not impossible, but it doesn't work really.

Occasionally, you might get away with playing Rafa in a wide position, but against better opposition it will be difficult.

"The choice really has been Rafa or Jermain, and Rafa has been scoring."

Queens Park Rangers are said to be lining up a £10m transfer bid for Defoe in January.

However, Redknapp insisted that he would stay at the club. "I wouldn't sell him," he said. "He is a fantastic player."

With Van der Vaart struggling to shake off a hamstring injury, Defoe is in line to start against West Bromwich Albion today if he recovers from a groin strain of his own. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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