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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

AVB rules out Jermain Defoe exit

Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas has quashed speculation that Jermain Defoe could leave White Hart Lane before the end of the transfer window, insisting the striker is still an important part of his squad.

Jermain Defoe scored twice in Tottenham's 3-0 Europa League win against Dinamo Tbilisi.
Defoe faces stiff competition for a starting spot from Roberto Soldado.

Defoe scored a brace in Tottenham's 3-0 win over Dinamo Tbilisi on Thursday night, helping send the Londoners to the Europa League group stage with an 8-0 aggregate win.

The 30-year-old was handed a start and the full 90 minutes for the match after being forced to sit on the bench for both of Tottenham's Premier League games so far this season, following the arrival of Spaniard Roberto Soldado.

Villas-Boas denies Soldado has permanently pushed Defoe out of the starting line-up and expects the competition between the pair to be beneficial for Spurs.

"Jermain will still be here after next Monday," he said. "He has delivered the goals when he wanted. He has come on as a substitute in the last two Premier League games and done extremely well for the team. He has shown great attitude and great professionalism.

"We've been playing with one striker and Jermain and Soldado are competing for that spot. There is competition but that's what happens in any big team. It's a World Cup year and everybody -- not just players involved with England -- will get games. What we want from Jermain is performances like tonight."

Defoe was named in Roy Hodgson's 27-man squad for next week's World Cup qualifiers against Moldova and Ukraine, with the Englishman hopeful of repeating his Dinamo performance throughout the season.

"Tonight answered all the questions about me wanting to stay," he said. "I went out there and worked hard and I've always done that since I've been at the club.

"As a forward you are judged on scoring goals and it's always nice to score and get a start with 90 minutes under my belt. It's what I needed. I'm delighted with the performance. I was desperate to get a hat-trick though."

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