Football

Defoe: I never wanted to leave Spurs

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Jermain Defoe insists he never wanted to leave Tottenham for Portsmouth and is now determined to make the most of his second spell at White Hart Lane.

Defoe left Spurs just under a year ago as Dimitar Berbatov and Robbie Keane were above him in the pecking order - but he is now expected to lead Harry Redknapp's attack after agreeing a return.

"It's great to be back and I'm looking forward to the challenge," Defoe said on Sky Sports. "It's hard to put it in words, it's brilliant."

He added: "A number of things [made me return]. Obviously everyone knows the manager was a major factor. My family still live in London and the fans were a factor too - you can tell by the reception I got.

"I never wanted to leave, but as a professional there comes a time when you think you need to move on. I did in order to improve my England career."

Spurs boss Harry Redknapp, who was in charge at Pompey when Defoe moved to Fratton Park, will still have money to spend in the January transfer window despite Defoe's £15million capture.

The structure of the deal to bring the 26-year-old back, after leaving less than a year ago, means Spurs are not parting with what they view as a huge cash sum to seal the striker's signature.

That will allow Spurs chairman Daniel Levy to continue negotiating for players such as Middlesbrough's Stewart Downing, with boss Redknapp wanting "three or four players" to bolster his squad for the second half of the season.

"We have not really got a squad. If you look at my team (against Burnley), that was the best I have available," said Redknapp.

"We have not got any strength in depth or cover - if Gareth Bale gets a knock, there is no-one else to play left-back. It is a badly-balanced, put-together squad, in all honesty, from day one."

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Topics:
Tottenham Hotspur
Robbie Keane
Portsmouth
Internationals
Stewart Downing
Dimitar Berbatov
Football
Jermain Defoe
Gareth Bale
Middlesbrough

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