The Spurs striker has kept his place in Roy Hodgson’s England squad despite dropping down the pecking order at White Hart Lane, but a continued lack of first-team football would make it hard for Defoe to maintain his place ahead of next summer’s World Cup.
With the likes of Daniel Sturridge and Rickie Lambert playing regularly for their clubs and impressing in the national team, and with Wayne Rooney, Andy Carroll and a number of other strikers all in and around the squad, Defoe knows will take more than just his reputation to have a chance of being on that plane to Brazil.
“In a World Cup year you have got to play, it’s as simple as that,” admitted Defoe. “To get into any England squad, it’s based on merit. So, you have got to play, I understand that. I also understand that it’s a long season, there are so many games to go and a lot of football to be played. I just have to try and keep myself sharp and fit.”
While Defoe has done everything he can to prove to Spurs manager, Andre Villas-Boas, that he is worthy of a first team place, the signing and form of Roberto Soldado has made it hard to see just how the England man is going to be able to get the regular playing time he needs.