A hamstring injury means Jermain Defoe will miss out on playing his final match for Tottenham Hotspur.
Defoe was expected to make his 364th and final appearance for Spurs against Dnipro in their Europa League Round of 32 clash this Thursday. The second leg match is set to be played at White Hart Lane and would have marked a fitting end to Defoe’s 10 year stint at the club.
Over the last three seasons the England international has dominated the Europa League, scoring 14 goals in 19 appearances. This season his seven goals in five matches has been the key to Tottenham’s success and, in need of overturning the 1-0 deficit, Spurs were believed to handing Defoe the start on Thursday.
“He has been all about goals,” manager Tim Sherwood said Wednesday. “Whenever he put on the shirt he always played with all his heart and spirit for the club. Everyone appreciates his efforts. He is a legend at the club.”
Defoe is set to join Major League Soccer club Toronto FC after Spurs accepted a transfer fee of $9.8 million this past January. Although he signed with Toronto last month, the agreement in place has kept Defoe in England on loan through the end of February.
The 31-year-old will be on hand at White Hart Lane to say his goodbyes on Thursday and leaves the club with 143 goals in all competitions and a club record 23 European goals. His last match for Tottenham was a substitute appearance in the 1-0 home Premier League win against Everton on February 9th. His final goal for the club was scored in the 2-0 win over Crystal Palace at White Hart Lane on January 11th.