Jermain Defoe hints at quitting Sunderland if they get relegated

The 34-year-old has not pulled on an England shirt since 2013 but is set to play next week

The 34-year-old has not pulled on an England shirt since 2013 but is set to play next week

The 34-year-old's form over the last couple of seasons has seen him earn a recall to the England squad under Gareth Southgate, and it is understood that he is in the thinking of the Three Lions manager for the 2018 World Cup.

England have achieved encouraging results in friendly meetings with top teams, however, having beaten France, Germany and European champions Portugal prior to the disappointment of last year's tournament. But I was just hoping I would get the opportunity again and now it has come I am delighted.

Defoe was asked if he would need to be in the Premier League to be in the England squad, with Sunderland bottom of the table, seven points from safety, with 10 games remaining.

"When I went to Toronto (in 2014) I missed out on the World Cup".

"I go back to '96 when we almost won the European Championships, we had five or six club leaders in that team - (Alan) Shearer, (Stuart) Pearce at left-back, Tony Adams". The boys I was competing against were playing in the Premier League and Europe and that was probably why I missed out.

"He's played in major tournaments, he has the experience and he's fully equipped to handle the pressure".

"I was getting a lot of stick from the lads at the training ground because I've still got the England flag on my boots". But that didn't stop me from getting my head down, working hard and just hoping that one day I would get an opportunity to represent my country again.

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"I can't wait to draw every ounce of knowledge from the other players".

"Playing in the major tournaments, going out and emulating the players you've seen on TV".

"I've been lucky enough to have experienced it".

"If I do get an opportunity to go to another major tournament it would be a dream", said Defoe, who has scored 19 times for England.

"If I'm feeling sharp I believe I can score goals". In this team I believe there will be a lot of chances to score goals.

The ex-Tottenham striker does, however, admit he needs to play in the top flight, with Sunderland facing an uphill task to stave off relegation down to the Championship.

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