Defoe disappointed to miss out on England’s Euro squad

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LONDON: Sunderland striker Jermain Defoe has expressed disappointment at being overlooked for England’s provisional squad for Euro 2016, despite ending the domestic season as the third-highest English goalscorer in the Premier League.

Defoe, who finished 10 goals behind Tottenham Hotspur’s Harry Kane and nine behind Leicester City’s Jamie Vardy in the race for the golden boot, enjoyed a productive season, scoring 15 league goals and helping to steer Sunderland to safety.

England manager Roy Hodgson, however, chose youth over experience in his 26-man squad for the European Championship on Monday, including 18-year-old Manchester United striker Marcus Rashford at the expense of the 33-year-old Defoe.

“Obviously I’ve not been involved with England for quite a while and I’ve always thought that getting into an England squad before a tournament is based on merit,” Defoe told British media. “I just feel like I’ve done everything that I could do.

“As a forward if you score goals then you’ve got a chance of going. So obviously, when you’re not in the squad, it’s a disappointment.”

England face Russia, Slovakia and Wales in Group B of the 24-team tournament in France, which starts on June 10.

– REUTERS