"I didn't want to leave," The Mirror quotes Defoe as saying. "I don't go thinking, 'I want to go to this club or that club.' But in January I just wasn't playing enough and I did go to the manager [Harry Redknapp] and ask to go out on loan.
"He said to me, 'I don't want you to go out on loan. We are trying to do something special here. Don't go.' And so I stayed. And I worked hard to keep myself sharp."
Defoe has received a place in Redknapp's starting lineup just 11 times during the campaign.