Jermain Defoe has made a habit of coming off the bench and scoring ever since Fabio Capello took over as England coach, showing himself to be one of the country’s finest finishers. The diminutive forward was omitted from Sven-Goran Eriksson’s final squad for the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany but has been a regular face in the England ranks since Capello’s arrival.
An impact player, who made his full international debut back in 2004, Defoe arrived at West Ham United from Charlton Athletic as a 16-year-old. He spent a productive time on loan at Bournemouth, scoring in ten consecutive matches, and after suffering the agony of relegation with the Hammers in 2002/03 he was sold to Tottenham Hotspur.
Defoe’s goalscoring exploits did not prove frequent enough and with Robbie Keane and Dimitar Berbatov establishing themselves as the first choice pairing at White Hart Lane, he opted to leave for Portsmouth in January 2008. Twelve months later, he was sold back to Tottenham and made an immediate impact on his return, scoring three goals in his first five games.
Working under Harry Redknapp for the third time in his career, having also played for him at West Ham and Portsmouth, the forward has shown himself to be an instinctive front man with bags of pace that can often destroy defenders in the latter stages of games, particularly when used as a substitute.