Tournament News

Defoe on his way to SA

2009-11-23 14:11

London - Harry Redknapp believes Jermain Defoe has made an unanswerable case for inclusion in England's World Cup squad by becoming only the third player to score five times in a Premier League match.

Defoe's five-star show came in Tottenham's 9-1 hammering of Wigan on Sunday and Spurs boss Redknapp believes it will have convinced Fabio Capello to take the striker to South Africa.

Defoe has not started a match for England this year and, with Capello set to take only four forwards to the finals, cannot be sure he will make the squad.

Capello regards Emile Heskey as the best foil for Wayne Rooney -- the only automatic choice among the strikers -- and Peter Crouch and Darren Bent are in contention with Defoe for the two other places.

Redknapp believes Defoe's finishing ability should put him at the front of the queue.

"Wayne Rooney's fantastic - a complete all-round player - but as a finisher, Defoe is the best out there," the Spurs boss said. "I'm sure he'll go to the World Cup. Fabio will see the goals he's scored."

Defoe knows what it is like to miss out on a World Cup, having been one of the last players to be cut from the England squad for Germany in 2006.

It was partly that experience that prompted him to work on building his upper body strength to make himself a more effective all-round player.

"He's got stronger this season and is using his upper body strength a bit more and holding people off and Capello will be impressed," Redknapp added.

"When he concentrates and plays his football, he can be unstoppable."

Defoe's five-goal display was the first since Alan Shearer struck five times for Newcastle against Sheffield Wednesday in 1999. Andy Cole, who hit five for Manchester United against Ipswich in 1995, is the only other player to have achieved the feat since the launch of the Premier League in 1992-93.

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