(Reuters) - England will benefit from the wealth of experience veteran striker Jermain Defoe brings to their young squad, midfielder Adam Lallana said after the 34-year-old scored in Sunday’s 2-0 World Cup qualifier win over Lithuania.
Defoe, who was called up to the senior squad for the first time since November 2013, was only one of three players over the age of 30 to be included in the England’s team for the victory at Wembley.
“You can’t win things with just kids and inexperience and it is great to have someone like (Defoe) around the camp,” Lallana told British media.
“It is refreshing to see the hunger he still has. At times you think he is 23, 24 because he is that hungry and that driven to still improve.”
Lallana also saw no reason why Defoe, who has scored 20 goals in 56 appearances for England, cannot become a regular fixture for the country in time for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
“His enthusiasm for the game is really refreshing and it is great for people in our squad to see. He is a great role model for everyone in the squad,” the Liverpool midfielder added.
“He has been absolutely brilliant this week. He sets a great example for a lot of us players. He is determined to not just be here for this squad, (to) keep being picked and be in the squad for Russia at the World Cup -- and why not, when he comes and contributes like he did.”
Reporting by Aditi Prakash in Bengaluru; Editing by Gareth Jones