Jermain Defoe will say his final goodbyes to Spurs fans at tonight’s Europa League match and one of his team mates who knows the MLS better than most believes the striker has made a “great move” in signing for Toronto FC.
The England forward will miss tonight’s game against FC Dnipro through injury but will be given a half-time send-off in front of supporters, who will be keen to show their appreciation for the front man’s services to the club.
US goalkeeper Brad Friedel, who has played alongside Defoe since joining the club in 2011, believes the 31-year-old still has a lot to offer as a player but says the time was right for him to move on.
He said: “I think for Jermain it was an outstanding contract, a great move. I think he’ll really enjoy himself out there.
“Obviously when a player leaves a club like Tottenham it’s right for both sides, and it was just time. We wish him all the best - he’ll do great out there.
“The city of Toronto is a really nice city, the MLS is getting stronger and what a great thing for the league to have a player like Jermain.
“A lot of players have gone over there past their best but Jermain still has something to offer, especially at that level, and even on a four year contract he’ll be able to navigate that league over there.”
Defoe was named in Roy Hodgson’s squad for England’s friendly against Denmark on March 5, but does Friedel think the forward’s selection for internationals be put in jeopardy after his move across the pond?
He said: “It didn’t happen to Beckham or Robbie Keane. I’ve not spoken to Roy Hodgson clearly but I think if Roy and Jermain have a good relationship I don’t think it should harm him.
“When there’s moves like this it has to be right for the individual, the opinion and speculation about what might happen with England, I don’t get too involved in. Jermain knows what he’s doing and he made a very good decision on his own.”