Jermain Defoe claims he loves life at Tottenham and would never ask to leave White Hart Lane.
The English striker continues to rack up goals when afforded an opportunity in Andre Villas-Boas' team, and has spoken amidst intense transfer speculation surrounding his future, per Matthew Dunn of the Express:
Of course it is frustrating that for all the goals, I have not had much of a chance in the Premier League.
Fans ask me all the time, but I don't need to tell anybody I am frustrated. That is just normal. People know I love my football, and I love scoring goals. When I am not getting the opportunity to do that, it is frustrating.
But I have never once said I wanted to leave this football club.
Defoe’s professional attitude and natural finishing ability has attracted the interest of former Spurs teammate Ryan Nelsen, who took charge of MLS outfit Toronto FC on Feb. 1.
As reported by Sami Mokbel and Neil Ashton of the Daily Mail, the recently retired centre-back believes Defoe represents an important, if unrealistic addition to his squad:
To get a guy like Defoe for the MLS, I cannot think of many that are more suited. I think if you ask most Premier League teams, they would take Defoe.
It would be incredible. I call him and text him all the time. Him playing in Toronto would be phenomenal.
Harry Redknapp has also been linked with luring the player to Queens Park Rangers, as noted by The Telegraph. The former Spurs boss was behind Defoe’s 2009 return to White Hart Lane after previously signing him at Portsmouth.
The player’s popularity amongst former peers is testimony of an individual who is willing to work hard for the good of his team.
He may have failed to net in one start and seven Premier League substitute appearances this season, but the 31-year-old’s five goals in four Europa League games highlights his continued proficiency, per WhoScored.com.
For all the love he receives, Defoe returns it right back. As reported in Dunn’s article, the England international shares a mutual love with Spurs’ fans and will always have the club in his consciousness, no matter what the future holds:
I have got a special relationship with the fans and even when I left before, the club dentist called me during a Spurs game so I could hear the fans were still singing my name even when I was a Portsmouth player. I will never forget that.
Does Defoe deserve to start ahead of Roberto Soldado at Spurs?
Defoe has a combined total of eight years' service to Spurs. It appears he will do everything he can to remain in North London, a notion galvanised by his consistent run of goals when afforded time on the pitch.
While limited appearances may harm his chances of making the 2014 World Cup squad, Spurs' loyal Englishman is more than capable of ousting Roberto Soldado—who continues to misfire for Villas-Boas' team—in order to seize a place on the plane to Brazil.