Jermaine Defoe has lifted the lid on his deadline-day move from Tottenham to Portsmouth in 2008, revealing he was never asked to take a medical as they rushed the move through
Jermaine Defoe has lifted the lid on his Deadline-Day move from Tottenham to Portsmouth in 2008, revealing he was told not to bother with a medical as they rushed the move through.
The 35-year-old has been the subject of a couple of final-day moves, with the switch to Fratton Park – where Pompey boss Harry Redknapp was unconvinced by the need for a medical for a player he knew from his time at West Ham – having been preceded in 2004 by a swift dash from West Ham to Spurs.
“When I went to Portsmouth, it was Deadline Day. Benjani went to Man City and I went to Portsmouth with Harry [Redknapp],” said Defoe.
“I was at my mum’s house and had to rush to Portsmouth. Harry was like ‘don’t bother about the medical, you’re fit. You’re fine!’
“He knew me from a kid [at West Ham], so he was ‘come on JD, you’ve just got to get down and score some goals. You don’t need a medical, you’re young and fit.”
Defoe is now coming to the end of his 19th pre-season as a professional but he says he is still as keen as ever for the new campaign to begin.
The former England international scored four goals in 26 appearances for Eddie Howe’s side last season and was in good spirits ahead of their season opener at home to newly-promoted Cardiff on August 11.
“It’s completely changed, in the first week you would never see a ball which is frustrating because you just want to play football,” he added.
“I remember at West Ham when we used to do forest runs…like cross-country. It used to take about 14 minutes and it was tough, players being sick and hiding in the bushes!
“Now, the balls are out the first day but, compared to some clubs I have been at, we work a lot harder here.
“It’s hard when you are doing it but you know deep down you are going to benefit, so you put the work in. You suffer because you know you will feel better in the games.”
Defoe has been linked with a move to Rangers over the summer but he insists he is happy at the Vitality Stadium as he looks to better his modest goal tally from last season.
“I’ve played with Steven Gerrard [with England], we’ve got the same agent. Like everyone, you see things on Twitter and in the papers, but that’s it really,” he said.
“I always try to focus on the club I am at, you’ve got a job to do and that’s it.
“From the speculation side of things, everyone gets that. You just have to get your head down, work hard and get ready for the season.”
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