Wright: 'Class' Defoe deserves England place

Former England striker Ian Wright has urged Roy Hodgson to grant Jermain Defoe a regular international place.

In the absence of the injured Wayne Rooney and Andy Carroll, Tottenham Hotspur forward Defoe started both of England's recent World Cup qualifiers against Moldova and Ukraine – and lasted the full 90 minutes against Ukraine, including having a goal disallowed.

"It was the first time he's finished a full game for England in 51 caps, which in itself is an unbelievable record for such a good goal-scorer,” Wright exclusively told FourFourTwo.

Wright, who scored nine goals in 33 England internationals, believes that Defoe warrants a regular starting berth – and not just for the 17 goals he has scored.

"A lot of managers haven't shown faith in him, but he scores goals. People say his link-up play isn't great, but what's that got to do with anything? His link-up play is good, we've got players in the team who are meant to be doing the linking up – he's the goal-scorer."

Wright is a close friend of Defoe and, having watched him for many years in England’s top flight, feels the Spurs man sits among the world's greatest goal-getters.

"He's an international-class goal-scorer. When you haven't finished a game in 50-odd caps, that's strange. He's proven on any stage for England, against any opposition. He's done it in the World Cup.

"I don't know what more he needs to do to get a run, but he obviously isn't going to get one."

Ian Wright will be supporting Stoptober by encouraging the nation's smokers to take part in the 28-day stop smoking challenge.

If you go 28 days without smoking you are five times more be able to stop for good. For more information visit smokefree.nhs.uk/stoptober

By Ryan Grant