“I feel like a little kid,” new Toronto FC striker Jermain Defoe said, the 55-time England international arriving in Canada on Sunday. One day ahead of his official unveiling as the Reds’ latest Designated Player, Defoe got his first glimpse of his new home city, with his family having taken in the sights last month.
“It’s been a long couple of months,” Defoe explained, perhaps implicitly acknowledging that long-held rumors of his arrival were true all along. “I’m looking forward to it. It’s a fantastic challenge – a great opportunity.”
Defoe may have also been hinting at the trouble he had getting consistent playing time during his last five months at Spurs. Although he had made 21 all-competition appearances for André Villas-Boas and Tim Sherwood, the summer acquisition of Roberto Soldado meant he had less of a place during league matches, appearing only 13 times. Whereas Defoe scored 22 times over the previous two Premier League campaigns, the 31-year-old had only one league goal this season.
But with 10 goals in all competitions, Defoe seems to have a lot left in the tank. As one of the most expensive players in Major League Soccer history, he’ll be expected to deliver. That process starts in earnest on Monday when he’s unveiled by his new club, his arrival sure to help the more optimistic outlook around TFC.