Jermain Defoe hoping to add to his 13 Premier League minutes this season at Newcastle
Jermain Defoe travels back to the north east hoping to get a rare chance to impress.
Newcastle were linked with the striker in summer 2017, but despite being on a free transfer, there was never any chance of Mike Ashley sanctioning the striker’s wages.
The forward made 25 Premier League appearances last season but only 11 as a starter, scoring four goals.
However, this season Jermain Defoe admits ‘It has been difficult’, as he hasn’t started a single Premier League match and despite being on the bench 10 times, has had only 13 minutes as a substitute.
Two weeks ago he got the final minute as Bournemouth won 3-0 at Fulham and Defoe says this kind of situation is new for him.
Ambitious Bournemouth are sixth in the table and have been prepared to not just spend big money on certain players (£46m on Lerma and Ake alone) but also build a squad.
The difference between Bournemouth and Newcastle is startling, especially up front, with Wilson (six goals) and King (four goals) ahead of Jermain Defoe.
The squad depth as meant that the Cherries can also attack the cup competitions and giving Defoe a start in all games, he has helped them progress to the quarter finals of the League Cup, playing Chelsea next month for a place in the semi-finals.
Only four Premier League clubs have scored more than Bournemouth’s 20 goals and only Huddersfield have scored less than Newcastle’s seven.
Rafa Benitez needs his strikers to step up and do a whole lot more than we have seen so far.
“It has been difficult.
“It’s not a situation I’ve had to deal with before so at first you get frustrated because you’re not used to it but at the same time it’s important that I’m professional because there are a lot of young players in the squad that look up to the senior players and I remember when I was younger and if I saw a senior player like that I’d think ‘if he’s doing that then it’s okay.’
“As a senior player you have to conduct yourself in a certain way, sometimes it’s not easy because you’re human and you want to play but you always have to remain positive and professional.
“You get your moments and your days when you’re down and when that hunger goes I think there’s no point in me playing to be honest.
“I’ve always had that, I’ve always wanted to play football.
“The team are doing well, so that’s the most important thing. You can sacrifice your own happiness for the team. I just need to keep training, stay sharp and then see what happens.”
‘You often talk about the role your mum’s played in your life, what does she say when you go home and show her a new tattoo?’
“When I told my mum I had the first tattoo she said, ‘Why would you do that and mark your skin?’ Then I told her I got her name and she went ‘Ah, that’s cool!’ Sometimes I sit there, especially with the picture of my nan who I was really close with, and it’s a nice feeling when I sit down and look at them.
“Do you know what, all my tattoos are about my family. On my forearm I’ve got a family tree with my mum, my nan, my grandad and my sister. I’ve got a picture of my nan and then on my hand I’ve got Psalm 91, which is psalm that I read in the bible to protect me.
“Then I’ve got one of my brother, who passed away in 2009, and then some angels, they all mean a lot to me.
“At Sunderland we had Jermaine Lens and he was covered, everywhere! Legs, calves, toes, everything, it was unbelievable, but they were nice. Leroy Sane has a tattoo of himself on his back, each to their own I say.
“David Beckham as well, he loves his tattoos. I remember when we were away with England and I asked him how his tattoos always looked so fresh. Mine are faded a bit, but his are always fresh.”
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