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16th Mar 2017

Jermain Defoe’s reaction to England selection shows he wasn’t expecting a call from Gareth Southgate

"I don't know a Gareth"

Simon Lloyd

Fair play to Gareth Southgate.

Not every England boss in the last few years have picked players on current form, but with the inclusion of Jermain Defoe in the latest England squad, this isn’t something the current Three Lions manager can be accused of.

In some respects, it was an obvious choice. Defoe has managed 14 goals for a struggling Sunderland side this season, a stat that makes him his country’s leading available goal scorer following Harry Kane’s ankle injury at the weekend. However, being 34 and having not represented his country in over four years, many felt that – no matter how well he played for his club – international football would simply not be an option for him.

Speaking to Sunderland’s social media team shortly after the England squad had been announced, Defoe has explained how Southgate had contacted him earlier in the week to let him know of his decision.

Despite his goalscoring form this season, it seems the striker wasn’t expecting a call from the England manager…

England face Germany in a friendly in Dortmund on March 22 before welcoming Lithuania to Wembley for a World Cup qualifier four days later.