Jermain Defoe has a fantastic career at Tottenham and found the back of the net with regularity throughout his two spells at the club. However, it could be argued that the way in which things ended for him in North London was a little anticlimactic.
Tottenham had spent the Gareth Bale money to bring in seven new players in the summer of 2013, one among them being Roberto Soldado, who had been on fire in La Liga for Valencia.
Defoe recalled how he found it extremely frustrating to be left out of the squad despite scoring plenty of goals in the Europa League.
Recalling his final few months in North London, the striker told Sky Sports’ Transfer Talk Podcast: “I was in and out of the team (under Andre Villas-Boas).
“Towards the end, before I left Tottenham, I was playing more in the Europa League. And when I was playing, I was scoring consistently.
“I felt really sharp. I was scoring consistently but for whatever reason, I just wasn’t playing in the league.
“Cos obviously we bought in Soldado for a lot of money and it was again like the Darren Bent thing. If you spend a lot of money on a forward, they’re looking to come in and play.”
The striker also opened up on his decision to go to MLS side Toronto FC and insisted that Spurs were unwilling to sell him to another Premier League club.
Speaking about the move away from Tottenham, Defoe said: “There we are other clubs interested in me but to be honest, the vibe that I got from the conversation with Daniel Levy before I left was that the club didn’t feel comfortable selling me to an another Premier League club.
When asked what he told Levy, the 37-year-old responded: “To be honest, it was a nice conversation. We sat down and we spoke as friends.
“He just said to me, ‘It’s up to you. You can do whatever you want to do but as a friend, this is a good opportunity for you to go to another league. You’ve done it here and it’s something nice for you to enjoy your life both on and off the pitch, and the lifestyle in Toronto. It’ll be an amazing deal for the football club and an amazing deal for you, getting a four-year contract'”.
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As it turned out, it was an amazing deal for Spurs but not quite an amazing deal for Defoe as he ended up moving back to the Premier League less than a year later. I always felt that we were too quick to get rid of Defoe and could have kept him for at least a year or two longer. He certainly deserved to play over Soldado in his final season at the club.
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