QPR star urges Warnock to snap up frustrated Spurs striker

Bothroyd believes ‘proven goalscorer’ Defoe would be a world-class addition

Jay Bothroyd is urging Tony Fernandes and Neil Warnock to make Tottenham striker Jermain Defoe their top target when the transfer window opens in January.

Warnock wants to add up to five new players to his squad, including a striker, and could be interested in Defoe, who has netted six times in 13 appearances for Spurs this season.

Despite his impressive scoring record, Defoe has struggled to break up the partnership between Emmanuel Adebayor and Rafael van der Vaart , and a lack of first-team action resulted in his omission from Fabio Capello’s England squad for Saturday’s clash with Spain.

Defoe’s hopes of making next summer’s European Championship are likely to rest on him playing regular first-team football this season, and Rangers forward Bothroyd, who lined up alongside Defoe as a youngster, believes that a switch to Loftus Road would suit all parties.

“I think we do need to sign a striker, there needs to be competition for places. The better players that come in the stronger the squad is, and it gives you a better chance of staying in the Premier League,” said Bothroyd.

“Obviously there was talk about Jermain Defoe. I played with him at under-15 level and I was talking to him the other day. If that was to come about then it’s another world-class player at QPR.

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“He’s a different sort of player to me, he’s a proven goalscorer in the Premier League and you have to welcome the competition.

“Look at the competition that’s at Manchester City. [Edin] Dzeko can score a hat-trick and then be left out in the next game.

“It’s a squad game now, 11 players are not going to keep you in the Premier League and 11 players will not win you the Premier League.

“I don’t think it’s just a striker, I think we need about four or five players for the squad.”

Despite Warnock’s intention to sign a striker, Bothroyd believes he staked a claim for a regular starting spot after scoring in consecutive games against Spurs and Manchester City.

The England man was dropped by Warnock after a poor start to the season, but was recalled for the second half of the match at Tottenham and played 76 minutes against City.

Heidar Helguson was also on target in QPR’s narrow 3-2 defeat to the league leaders on Saturday, and Bothroyd says the pair are forming an effective partnership up front.

“Heidar wants to play on the shoulders of defenders, he likes the physical confrontation and he’ll stay high up the pitch,” said Bothroyd.

“I’m a different player, I like to come inside and get involved in the game, drift wide, take players on and hopefully score goals.

“With him up there he’s complementing my style, giving me the freedom to come deep when I want to and wide when I want to. The manager’s told me to express myself, that’s what I’ve been doing the last couple of games, and I’ve really enjoyed it.

“When you play that disciplined role up front, staying within the width of the six-yard box, it’s difficult because you’re not involved in long periods of the game. I want things to come through me, to be a catalyst and contribute.

“With Heidar up there and Shaun Wright-Phillips and Jamie Mackie wide it gives me a bit more freedom.”

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