Defoe: I knew I'd follow Harry back to Spurs

JERMAIN DEFOE admitted he knew he would rejoin Spurs from Pompey the moment Harry Redknapp left Fratton Park for White Hart Lane.

Tuesday, 2nd May 2017, 1:14 pm
Updated Tuesday, 9th May 2017, 6:44 pm
Former Pompey striker Jermain Defoe

Speaking in this month’s Four Four Two magazine, the England international also revealed he had no clue about the financial mess behind the scenes at the Blues during his time at the club.

Defoe left Spurs to join Pompey in January 2008 for £7.5m when Redknapp was in charge.

The striker hit the ground running and scored 17 goals in 36 appearances during his one-year spell on the south coast.

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But when Redknapp departed the Blues for Spurs in the October, Defoe knew he would follow the manager who helped him make a name for himself at West Ham.

And he did – returning to the north London outfit for an estimated £15.75m in January 2009.

Defoe told Four Four Two: ‘Harry was leaving to go and manage Tottenham.

‘As soon as I heard that news, I thought I would be signing for Spurs as well.

‘But I really enjoyed my time playing for Portsmouth.

‘For a pretty small stadium, the atmosphere was unbelievable for every game.

‘Harry used to phone me.

‘He’d say “JD, I want you to come here and score us some goals. Forget about the medical, just come and score some goals”.

‘He never complicated anything.

‘He’d say “just come here and put in the effort. You’re doing something you love, that you get paid for – just do what you do”.

Defoe was part of one of the best side’s in Pompey’s history.

Although the striker, who is now at Sunderland, was cup-tied, the Blues famously lifted the FA Cup at Wembley in 2008.

Redknapp’s side beat Cardiff in the final 1-0 thanks to Kanu’s first-half strike.

The Blues also finished eighth in the Premier League that same season and qualified for the Europa League.

But after Defoe left, the good times soon dried up.

The club went through financial turmoil and were forced to sell high-earners such as Peter Crouch, Niko Kranjcar and Glen Johnson.

And despite reaching the 2010 FA Cup final, Pompey were relegated from the Premier League the same season.

But Defoe denied he had any knowledge about what was happening off the pitch.

He added: ‘Honestly, I didn’t have a clue.

‘I was just trying to focus on scoring goals, as that’s what people always expect from me.’