Tottenham Hotspur striker Jermain Defoe is "frustrated" at the lack of opportunities handed to him this season by manager Andre Villas-Boas.

Defoe has made 16 appearances this season, scoring nine goals, but has started just once in the Premier League as he continues to be overlooked with Roberto Soldado seemingly first choice in north London.

Soldado has netted just four league goals, three of which have come from the penalty spot, since his summer move from Valencia and Defoe is understandably exasperated by his lack of opportunities particularly when Tottenham have netted just nine goals in 11 league matches.

"Of course it is frustrating that for all the goals, I have not had much of a chance in the Premier League," he told the Daily Express.

"Fans ask me all the time, but I don't need to tell anybody I am frustrated. That is just normal. People know I love my football, and I love scoring goals. When I am not getting the opportunity to do that, it is frustrating.

"But I have never once said I wanted to leave this football club."

Among the England international's nine goals this term, seven have come in five Europa League games, a tally which has seen him surpass Martin Chivers as Tottenham's leading goalscorer on the continent.

In a recent television documentary, Defoe revealed how he regretted moving from West Ham United to Tottenham in 2004.

The 31 year old has now expressed his regret in leaving Tottenham in 2008 for Portsmouth, only to re-join the club 12 months later.

"Even when I left the first time, I didn't say I wanted to leave the club," added Defoe. "All I will say is that I want to play.

"I would rather say to the gaffer, 'give me a chance'. I don't want to go to him and say, 'I am leaving the club'. I love the club and everybody knows that.

"I have got a special relationship with the fans and even when I left before, the club dentist called me during a Spurs game so I could hear the fans were still singing my name even when I was a Portsmouth player. I will never forget that.

"I came back and it has been great. If the day came when I have to go, it would be hard. All my friends are here and every game I play, when I put that shirt on, it feels like the first game."