By 90Min
July 24, 2017

Despite the fact that the 2017/18 Premier League campaign is yet to kick-off, Bournemouth striker Jermain Defoe already has one eye on next summer, focusing on playing his way into England's 2018 World Cup squad. The 34-year-old shone during his spell at Sunderland, scoring 37 goals in 94 matches. Defoe infamously missed out on England's 2014 World Cup squad.

Speaking to the Daily Star, Defoe revealed his desire to represent his country at the 2018 World Cup in Russia, should the Three Lions progress to the tournament finals in Russia. Defoe claimed:

"It’s only normal to have one eye on the World Cup. Every English player will want to get in to that squad but it’s based on merit, so you’ll have to play well for your club. I’ll focus on doing that and then if I get the opportunity to play in the World Cup again, it would be a dream.”

The veteran striker has enjoyed a blistering career to date, earning himself a reputation as a true fox-in-the-box with clinical finishing abilities. Defoe has scored 198 goals in 531 across all competitions in the club game, and has 57 England caps to his name - scoring an impressive 20 goals in the process.

Defoe's return to Bournemouth has been rejoiced by the fans of the club, who witnessed the player make a name for himself on loan at the club during the 2000/01 season, when Bournemouth were languishing in the old Second Division. The 5ft 7" mini-maestro bagged 18 goals in 28 appearances, sealing his place in Cherries folklore for years to come.

Ian MacNicol/GettyImages

Defoe will be 35 by the 2018 World Cup, and many pundits have argued that England should be focusing on their up-and-coming stars, rather than wheeling out veterans of the game. 

However, Defoe's scoring record speaks for itself, and England could well do with an experienced player in the dressing room to inspire and motivate the younger players for daunting tournament games.

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