Former Tottenham skipper King urges Hodgson to pick Defoe

The striker moved to MLS side Toronto FC in March, but the Spurs legend has backed the 31-year-old to score goals for England at the World Cup after a frustrating last few years
By Gerry Cox

Ledley King believes Roy Hodgson should take his former Tottenham team-mate Jermain Defoe to the World Cup.

Hodgson will announce his preliminary 30-man squad on Monday, before seven players leave the set-up in June.

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And the former Spurs man, who will have his testimonial with the club at White Hart Lane on Monday, has backed Defoe - now of Toronto FC in the MLS - to score goals for England in Brazil.

"Jermain is all about goals," he told Goal. "I've played with him from a young age and he's one of the best finishers I've seen.

"Over the past few years he has been frustrated at the amount of game time he has had, which is why he made the move he did.

"He loves training, he loves games, he loves being part of the England set-up and one thing he guarantees you is that he is a goalscorer and you need players like that."

King also expects England to exceed expectations in Brazil this summer with a squad featuring several players yet to experience a major tournament.

He said: "They've got a tough group to navigate, but I've been impressed with what I have seen in the past few games. There are some young and exciting attacking players who can go and play without pressure, and maybe they could surprise a few people.

"It will be a first World Cup for a lot of the players, but there is also plenty of experience there. The first game, against Italy, is huge, and if they can get a good result, I am sure the lads will grow in confidence.