Jermain Defoe has claimed that he considered following the example of Robbie Keane and leaving Tottenham Hotspur in January due to a lack of opportunities.
Defoe has suffered an injury ridden season, but has also struggled to make himself a permanent fixture when available.
Rafael Van Der Vaart’s arrival at the club last summer has seen a change in formation, with the mercurial Dutchman playing off a single striker.
This has left Defoe battling with Peter Crouch and Roman Pavlyuchenko for that lone striker role, with a more physical presence often chosen ahead of his diminutive frame.
Defoe hopes to start against AC Milan on Wednesday, but knows depsite his brace against Wolves, that his place is by no means guaranteed.
“It’s been hard. You start to think; ‘What am I doing here?’ I’m used to playing in big games.
“I’ve played in big games formy clubs and for my country.
“It’ll be a tough game (against Milan). I hope I’m playing and if I can score and win the game then it’ll be great.
“But I remember playing against Charlton (in the FA Cup) and scoring two goals, then the next weekend I missed out.
“I was upset about that because once I start scoring, I’m confident and I have the feeling I know I’ll score the next game. We played Manchester United and I thought, ‘I’m playing’, but I didn’t start.
“I don’t think the club would have allowed me to go on loan (like Robbie Keane). But it was like when I decided to leave here and went to Portsmouth because I got in the situation where I thought, ‘I’m not sitting on the bench.'”
Defoe was also disappointed to miss out on the first leg of this tie, with Peter Crouch scoring the only goal of the game in an historic win for Spurs.
“It was hard, because it was a big game.
“I was looking forward to this season, especially when you feel you contributed last season, finishing fourth and scoring lots of goals.
“When you eventually get there you want to be playing, because you worked so hard to get the club there in the first place.
“The way the manager’s gone this season, we’ve got one up front with someone just behind.
“It’s difficult. I missed all the group games when I was injured, so you’ve just got to watch the lads do well.”
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