England manager Roy Hodgson should consider experienced Sunderland striker Jermain Defoe for next month’s Euro 2016 in France, according to Sam Allardyce.
Defoe has been Sunderland’s saviour this season, scoring 15 Premier League goals to almost singlehandedly haul the strugglers out of the relegation zone.
The 33-year-old – with 55 international caps to his name but has not played since November 2013 – scored a 70th-minute winner as Sunderland stunned Chelsea 3-2, which lifted the club out of the drop zone by a point with two games remaining.
Sunderland manager Allardyce heaped praise on Defoe, who left Toronto FC last year as Jozy Altidore moved in the opposite direction, while offering Hodgson some advice.
“Having just been reminded that he was swapped for Altidore, it’s one of the best bits of business the club has done for a long time, with all due respect to Mr Altidore,” Allardyce said.
“I just think, if Roy needed anybody to go along to the Euros with experience and he needed a goal, and maybe not from the start sometimes, then Jermain would be your man, if he felt he needed it.
“Because he has proven that this year. He has had a big run of games that he has not had for a few years. He has been a consistent performer at the highest level again.
“He has scored 18 goals in all competitions, which leaves him around the third or the fourth highest scorer in all competitions this year, which is pretty miraculous for a team that has been sat in the bottom three or four all season.
“What he has just said to England is that ‘I can still do it if you want me to’. This season, he has said, ‘Roy, if you want me to, here I am, look at what I’ve done, I can still do it if you think you need me’.
“If resurrected himself is the right word, he has certainly done that this season, by the level of performance.”
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