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Gareth Southgate, current coach of the English national squad has made some surprising inclusions in his latest squad to face Germany and Lithuania next week. Out of the many selections that raised a few eyebrows, the call up for Sunderland star Jermaine Defoe has been the most spoken about in recent times. The 34-year-old has 14 goals to his name for the Black Cats who are currently placed 20th in the points table. His record speaks for itself, making him one of the most prolific goalscorers in recent times. The injury to Spurs star Harry Kane has seen him get his chance after a long time. But, does he deserve it?
His return of 14 goals for a club that are favorites to go down is impressive and Southgate revealed recently that his finishing abilities is what fetched him a place in the national setup. Harry Kane, Jamie Vardy, Danny Welbeck and Daniel Sturridge are the best options for the English coach so it is surprising to see Defoe get his chance yet again.
Having played at a variety of clubs in his career in England, the 34-year-old has made more than 250 senior Premier League appearances and has a scoring rate that is up there with the best. In his previous 55 appearances for the national side, Jermaine Defoe has scored 19 goals and this is probably what Southgate wants from him. With Sturridge and Kane injured, Jamie Vardy is the first choice for the next two international games. Welbeck has been decent but the Sunderland man has been in exceptional form and is surely a better option than the Arsenal man.
He is not expected to start either of those games but England, with all their goal scoring woes might need the killer Instinct of a ‘Jermaine Defoe’ to win points and kill games off. His experience will come in handy from the bench and with very few players of his calibre currently available for selection, the England international deserves to be in the national Squad for England for the upcoming games.
There are criticisms about his selection based on the fact that Defoe is currently at the fag end of his career and well past his prime but the 34-year-old is a perfect solution for the problem in the national squad at the moment. Kane, Sturridge, and Vardy are good in front of the goal but neither of them have been able to show consistency for the national side. Defoe, though has not played under the new manager, is a player who has been doing well around underperforming players and can only get better around better players.
Even at his age the Sunderland man has shown great desire to win and deserves his England call-up especially when the national team has been hit by a few injuries.
Do you think Gareth Southgate is right in recalling the 34-year-old?