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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Jul 5, 2007

Defoe welcomes competition up front

Tottenham striker Jermain Defoe has welcomed the competition places in attack at White Hart Lane.

Spurs boss Martin Jol has Dimitar Berbatov, Robbie Keane, Mido and Darren Bent as well as Defoe for next season as the club look to break into the top four of the Premier League.

Although Defoe could be third or even fourth choice, he is determined to stay and compete for a place in Jol's starting XI, with plenty of opportunities expected as Spurs are in the UEFA Cup.

'I'm really excited about the new season and the prospect of another campaign in Europe,' read a statement from 24-year-old Defoe.

'We have made some good signings and our squad is now stronger and even better equipped to compete in all competitions.

'We have competition for places in all positions and that can only be good for the team.'

Jol praised Defoe last season for his attitude while battling for a place in the team, and the striker is expected to continue the fight when he returns for pre-season training next week.

A mark of how highly Jol regards the England striker is ranking him alongside Berbatov and Keane as the most exciting players he has worked with.

Defoe actually started more Premier League games than Keane in the last campaign, and Jol could not separate last season's strikers when asked in official club magazine 'Hotspur' for the most exciting player he has worked with.

Jol said: 'I would have to say Dimitar Berbatov, Robbie Keane and Jermain Defoe. I can't choose between them so I'd have to say all three are exciting.'

Portsmouth, however, are still interested in Defoe and boss Harry Redknapp admits he would welcome the striker at Fratton Park if the situation changes.

Redknapp is also monitoring former Spurs striker Fredi Kanoute, who is in Spain with Sevilla.

'I'd love Defoe or Kanoute,' said Redknapp on Sky Sports News. 'Defoe is a fantastic player in my opinion.

'He needs to play. Spurs are so strong up front. Robbie Keane is a magnificent players, there is Berbatov and they took Bent.

'I gave Jermain his debut at West Ham and I know the kid - he loves playing football and loves scoring goals. He needs to play somewhere.'

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