Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Defoe ‘frustrated’ by lack of first-team action; Llorente settled at Juve

Jermain Defoe wants to play more English Premier League football, but insists he is not seeking a move away from White Hart Lane.

Tottenham Hotspur striker Jermain Defoe wants to play more English Premier League football, but insists he is not seeking a move away from White Hart Lane, Sky Sports understands.

Defoe, who rejoined Tottenham from Portsmouth in a deal reportedly worth £15.75 million in January 2009, has bagged nine goals and two assists, none in the Premier League, in 15 appearances across all competitions for Spurs this season.

The England international, 31, has started just one Premier League fixture for Spurs in 2013/14, a match that saw his former club West Ham United hammer three goals past Hugo Lloris in a 3-0 away win.

Defoe — the leading goal-scorer in the UEFA Europa League and a reported summer transfer target for MLS side Toronto FC — would like to see his workload, especially in the league, increase in the coming weeks, and understandably so.

Tottenham (6-2-3) have scored the fewest goals from open play, 5, in the Premier League this season. In fact, only Crystal Palace and Sunderland have fewer strikes in the top-flight. Shocking.

“Of course it is frustrating that for all the goals, I have not had much of a chance in the Premier League,” said Defoe.

“Fans ask me all the time, but I don’t need to tell anybody I am frustrated. That is just normal. People know I love my football, and I love scoring goals. When I am not getting the opportunity to do that, it is frustrating.

“But I have never once said I wanted to leave this football club.”

Defoe is unlikely to start Spurs’ next league fixture against Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium on 24 November 2013, but expect him to be in the starting XI for the Europa League visit to Tromso four days later.

Tromso (15/2); Tottenham Hotspur (4/11); Draw (15/4)

Llorente settled at Juve

Juventus striker Fernando Llorente has revealed he has adapted to life in Turin after initially finding it difficult to settle at the club.

Llorente, who joined Juve from Athletic Bilbao on a free transfer in the summer, has scored four goals in 12 competitive appearances for the Italian champions this term.

The Spain international, 28, has scored in back-to-back matches — against Real Madrid and Napoli, respectively — for the first time since May, when he came off the bench to help Bilbao defeat Mallorca and Zaragoza.

“I had problems in settling and adapting to new methods of training,” Llorente told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

“I was not used to so much work and my body was not right. I started to have doubts about my decision to join Juventus, about me and about everything. I felt bad.

“Then I had the chance to start playing when I was finally finding the shape. Mirko Vucinic and Fabio Quagliarella’s injuries gave me an opportunity and I have tried to play my best.”

Llorente also found time to praise the likes of Andrea Pirlo and Paul Pogba, and rightfully so.

The Bianconeri are currently in second-place in the Serie A table, one point behind leaders pace-setters A.S. Roma.


Shawn Etemadi



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