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The striker asked to go out on loan to save his Euro 2012 spot but Harry Redknapp assured him he was a key member of the squad and that he should stay

Jermain Defoe has revealed he wanted to leave Tottenham in January due to a lack of regular game time.

The England striker worked with a fitness trainer throughout last summer, cancelling his holidays in the process, and has since found himself sat on the bench at White Hart Lane this season.

He told The Daily Mirror: “In a way, it feels as though it has all been a waste.

“I wanted to give myself the best chance of breaking into the team and keeping my place. But I’ve just not had a chance.

"Last week, I was ready. I wanted to come on and score the winner. But again it didn’t happen. It breaks the spirit a bit.”

Defoe asked Harry Redknapp if he could go out on loan in January to give himself a chance of being in the England squad for Euro 2012 but his manager persuaded him to stay and play an important part in the squad.

He continued: “I didn’t want to leave. I don’t go thinking, 'I want to go to this club or that club.' But in January I just wasn’t playing enough and I did go to the manager and ask to go out on loan.           

“He said to me, ‘I don’t want you to go out on loan. We are trying to do something special here. Don’t go.’ And so I stayed. And I worked hard to keep myself sharp.

“But still I haven’t had that run of games. It still feels like I will only get a game if someone is injured or suspended.

"Sometimes I even feel like I’m in the youth team, because I know that, whatever I do in midweek, I won’t get a game at the weekend.

“The manager picks the team and I would never be disrespectful to the manager. But when someone doesn’t talk to you and explain what’s going on its hard.

“I love the club. Everybody knows that. When I’m out and people ask whether I am leaving I always say no. But how can I stay somewhere that I don’t get the chance to play?”

There is still a chance the 29-year-old will be in Poland and Ukraine this summer as Roy Hodgson is looking for a striker to fill Wayne Rooney's boots whilst he sits the first two games out due to suspension, and Defoe believes his lack of game time will mean he is fresh for the tournament.

He added: “That is the one positive - if I do get the chance to go to the Euros, I will be fresh and ready.

"Coming on with a few minutes to go in every other Premier League game means I’m sharp.

“Other people may have done that in qualifiers but in big international tournaments - when the pressure is on to get a goal or go home - it is much harder.

"I’m hoping that, having done that before, I can do it again.”