The striker, who had scored 64 goals in 177 appearances for Spurs at that time, had established himself as a White Hart Lane favourite, but opted to reunite with Harry Redknapp at Portsmouth after the pair had originally worked together at West Ham.
The move surprised many, not least Defoe, who explained the events leading up to his first White Hart Lane departure in an exclusive interview with Football FanCast.
He said: “It was a hard decision for me to make. I loved it at Spurs. But we had a change of manager, Juande Ramos came in and he had different ideas.
“One day in training he said something to me, I said something back, and then he told me that if I wasn’t happy I could leave. Even the players couldn’t believe he’d said it to me.
“So I phoned my agent and told him what the manager said. Ramos spoke to Daniel Levy about it and the chairman was like: ‘Are you joking? That is not happening!’
“The next game I was given the armband to be captain! It was strange.”
Ramos arrived at White Hart Lane in 2007, replacing Martin Jol, leading Spurs out of the relegation zone and into midtable before being sacked at the beginning of the following season.
And Defoe explained that while he didn’t want to leave Tottenham, he felt like he needed to while Ramos was still at the club.
“It was so hard to leave Tottenham. I just felt like I had no choice. I just couldn’t play for Juande Ramos.”
You can read the full interview with Jermain Defoe, in conjunction with On The Ball Global, here.