Defoe hopes to lead the line for England at Euro
LONDON – Sunderland striker Jermain Defoe senses an opportunity to lead the line for England at Euro 2016, especially with Arsenal forward Danny Welbeck ruled out for nine months with a knee injury.
Defoe, whose 15 Premier League goals helped Sunderland avoid the drop, is the third-most prolific English striker in the scoring charts this season behind Tottenham Hotspur’s Harry Kane and Leicester City’s Jamie Vardy.
Both Kane and Vardy are likely to be in the England squad for the 24-team tournament, which coach Roy Hodgson is scheduled to announce on Monday.
“If I do go, it’ll be a dream because it will be my third tournament and playing for England is something that I’ve always wanted to do,” Defoe told British media.
Welbeck underwent surgery on his right knee after sustaining cartilage damage in Sunday’s 2-2 draw with Manchester City and faces an extended spell on the sidelines.
Defoe earned his last cap for England against Chile in November 2013, and although keen to represent his country again, the 33-year-old is relaxed about the prospect of making to the tournament.
“I’m happy with the way I’ve performed this season,” he added. “I’ve ticked every box and if I don’t go then I can say at least I’ve done everything right.”
England face Russia, Slovakia and Wales in Group B of the tournament in France starting on June 10. -Reuters