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Jermain Defoe's England return a 'great story', says Gareth Southgate

27 Mar
2017

Jermain Defoe's return to the England squad is a "great story" according to manager Gareth Southgate after the striker scored in Sunday's 2-0 World Cup qualifier win over Lithuania. The Sunderland forward, 34, made his first England appearance since November 2013 and marked the occasion with the opening goal in the 21st minute.

"I'm pleased for Defoe he got the goal," said Southgate. "The bigger picture for us was his contribution throughout the camp."

England created few clear-cut chances after Defoe's opener, but managed to breach the last line of defence once more in the 66th minute when substitute Jamie Vardy scored with his first touch.

Jermain Defoe rolls back the years to show England what they have missed

27 Mar
2017

There was something very familiar about all this. The sight of a winger bustling to the byline and, even as he pulled the ball back across goal, being absolutely convinced the net would be billowing by the time his momentum had carried him on to the artificial turf ringing the pitch. 

Jermain Defoe tends to offer that calibre of reassurance, forever loitering as he does in enemy territory spanning the width of the posts, the six-yard box only ever a dart away, defenders constantly on edge. Cue that trademark celebration, arms stretched wide, as the striker trotted towards the crowd. It was as if he had never been away.

Jermain Defoe selection was another positive example of Gareth Southgate's shrewd judgement

27 Mar
2017

It is perhaps a measure of how far Wayne Rooney has fallen that a striker three years his senior started this encounter for England. Just as it is a measure of how positive a start Gareth Southgate has made that said veteran forward should score after only 20 minutes with what was his third touch of the game.

As difficult as it is to imagine Jermain Defoe still being involved come next year's World Cup, the Sunderland forward represents another positive example of Southgate's so far shrewd judgement. 

Jermain Defoe and ‘best mate’ Bradley Lowery lead England out against Lithuania

26 Mar
2017

Five-year-old Sunderland fan Bradley suffers from a terminal and rare form of cancer. Jermain Defoe and his ‘best mate’ Bradley Lowery led Gareth Southgate’s England out for Sunday’s World Cup qualifier against Lithuania on his return to international football.

The Sunderland striker, making his first appearance for the national team in three-and-a-half years, held the hand of the five-year-old Bradley, who suffers from a rare form of cancer known as neuroblastoma. Defoe has struck an accord with the Sunderland-supporting youngster and, along with team-mates John O’Shea, Vito Mannone and Sebastian Larsson, visited him in hospital last month.

England turns to Jermain Defoe amid striker injury woes

19 Mar
2017

LONDON (AP) — Jermain Defoe was recalled to the England squad at the age of 34 on Thursday, more than three years after last playing for the national team. The Sunderland striker is among 26 players selected for England's upcoming matches after captain Wayne Rooney, Daniel Sturridge and Harry Kane were ruled out because of injury. Defoe has scored 19 goals in 55 England appearances but last played in 2013. Although Sunderland is last in the Premier League, Defoe has 14 goals from 27 appearances.

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