Jermain Defoe has set his sights on a World Cup place after admitting even his team-mates could not believe he got a three-year deal with Bournemouth.
Defoe, who turns 35 in October, has signed a bumper £20million contract and has backed himself to score enough goals to force his way into the England squad for next summer.
The veteran striker returned to the England set-up last season and even discussed his switch from Sunderland with Gareth Southgate before moving.
Defoe said: “At lot of the lads said ‘How’d you get three years’ but I’m enjoying it and take each day as it comes. They have cryotherapy here which is a bonus, something that I’ve always done.
“People know in football that I’ve always been dedicated and try to do the right things. Whether that’s speaking to the club doctor, the physios, doing yoga because I’m 34 not 17 or 18. I have to do more now than I did years ago. I know my body.
“To get in the international squad is based on merit and as a forward, it’s based on goals. If I continue scoring goals then I can’t see why not.
“To go to a World Cup you have to be playing in the top leagues and that was probably a factor as well. I think it has to always be the target.
“I spoke to Gareth and he was delighted with the move.
“I believe that if I am scoring goals then I will be up for selection.”
Defoe is now seventh in the all time Premier League goalscorer list with 158 and is determined to try and reach 200 while at Bournemouth. “That would be some achievement,” said Defoe. “You have to pinch yourself. I remember watching people like Alan Shearer, Ian Wright, Les Ferdinand, even Robbie Fowler as a kid, and thought, ‘If only I could do that one day – to score just one’. So to get 158 is a dream. I don’t want to take my foot off the gas.”
Meanwhile, Nathan Ake became Bournemouth’s record £20m signing, after being with them on loan until January. The Dutch defender was called back by Chelsea but barely got a look-in which made up his mind.
Ake said: “They could not offer me a starting place and they knew I had to make this decision.
“You want to continue playing and when you go back and you are on the bench – and sometimes not even on the bench – it is difficult.”